Friday, 30 July 2010

Champagne magic

We stopped in the village of Mareuil sur Ay twice on our recent cruise. One of the finest champagne houses on the Marne is based in the village. The Clos des Goisses has one of the most unique microclimates in the whole of Champagne. Standing majestically above the marne river, the extremely steep, pure chalk slopes face directly south maximisiing both heat and light into the vineyard.

Phillipponat's marketing material is freely available in the Capitainerie at the Halte Nautique.  The image on the postcard above is very cleverly shot but not tampered with at all.

Turned on its side, the image becomes a stylised champagne bottle that is use on the opening scene on the website. Someone had a very keen eye and good imagination. The shot  is taken along the Marne, looking towards the steep, terraced vinyards that sweep right to the edge of the town. You can just make out the Mareuil Lockhouse at the far right hand side.

A visit to the website includes a 360degree tour. From the Close des Goisses, you can glimpse the Mareuil Lock which was covered in wildflowers when we passed through on our way up and down the Marne. There is also a Video in which Charles Phillipponat explains the nature of the site and the extraordinary terracing along the banks of the Marne and a tour of the cellars and barrel room.

Close des Goisses.                         Charles Philipponnat

Close des Goisses
is the warmest site in the whole of Champagne measuring on average 1.5 degrees C more than others. Situated in the very heart of Champagne, harvest usually takes place a week earlier than neighbouring areas.