Before leaving for New York we spent three days in Champagne, more precisely in Hautvillers, the birthplace of Dom Pérignon.
This trip represents the end of a journey to decode one the most famous champagne in the world, a journey began last May in Barcelona with Ferran Adrià and his El Bulli Foundation (read the post here).
Today we want to show you the “travel diary” of our experience in the Champagne together with 10 “key concepts” you have to know about Dom Pérignon and champagne in general.
1. The Dom Perignon was named after its inventor, the Benedictine monk Pierre Pérignon (1638 – 1715), the alleged creator of the “champenoise method” in 1670.
2. The first harvest dates back to 1921 even if the first bottles of Dom Pérignon was sold to the public only in 1936.
3. The Dom Pérignon is always a vintage champagne, meaning that is produced in exceptional years only from grapes harvested in the same year, unlike other champagnes that use grapes harvested in different years.
4. Champagne is achieved through the “blending”, a procedure leading to the definition of the blend: mix of different quality grapes.
5. The Dom Pérignon is obtained from the mix of two different types of grapes: Chardonnay and Pinot Noir grown exclusively in the Champagne region.
6. We will drink the grapes harvested this year so the new Dom Pérignon in ten years, which means that the harvest of this year will probably be available only in 2025.
7. Each bottle of Dom Pérignon is obtained from 1 plant of grape + 1/2 circa.
The harvest is done manually ( the use of machines is strictly forbidden) as it is essential that the grape arrives at the correct degree of ripeness before pressing.
8. The vineyards of Champagne have about 50 years and rarely exceed 80. According to the composition of the soil of the region it’s not important for the plants to have roots reaching too deep.
9. The size of the bottles of Champagne are:
– 1/4 of bottle 18.7 Cl
– half a bottle of 37,5 Cl
– Bottle 75 Cl
– Magnum 1.5 Lt
– Rehoboam 4.5lt
– Jeroboam 3 Lt
– Mathusalem 6 Lt
– Salmanazar 9 Lt
– Nabucodonosor 15 lt
10. Don’t dare to ask a Champagne expert, especially Richard Geoffroy, Chef de cave of Dom Perignon, which is the best glass in which to drink this precious drink. Suffice it to say that you you will never find a flute in Hautvillers.