Wine Wednesdays – Wine Tasting in Champagne at Henri Giraud

From Alsace, we drove 4 hours west to Epernay in the heart of Champagne.

I have a newfound love for bubbles after our trip.  I always found it too sweet and gave me a headache, but I’ve explored new to me, drier styles that are the perfect way to begin a meal or as an aperitif.  It feels so celebratory even on the most ordinary of days!    

We arrived in Epernay and after a delicious lunch at La Grillade Gourmande headed to Henri Giraud for a tasting.  The house is currently run by the 12th generation of the family, producing amazing Champagnes from Grand Cru vineyards in the nearby village of Ay.

Just a reminder, a sparkling wine can only be called “Champagne” if it is produced in the designated Champagne region within France!    

The house is known for using a traditional clip closure called an “agrafe” that requires a special tool to open.  The handle of the dégrafeur is made from wood from the Argonne forest, which ties back to much of the oak used for the barrels in the Giraud aging process.

Once we got the bottle open, it was time to taste!  The wines were all delicious.  Crisp, dry, tiny bubbles.  
Their Code Noir Cuvee is made with 100% Pinot Noir grapes, somewhat unusual as most Champagnes are a blend of Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, and Pinot Meunier (another red grape).  

If you plan to visit Epernay, I would highly recommend making an appointment for a tasting.
I’ll certainly be on the lookout for bottles from Henri Giraud here in the States!
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