The chalky soiled Champagne region lies ninety miles northeast of Paris. The primary grapes are chardonnay and pinot noir.  The colder climate prevents the grapes from fully ripening, producing higher acid levels, which is perfect for Champagne. REAL Champagne is made from grapes grown in the Champagne region via the Methode Champenoise. Effervescent wine made from anywhere else, even other parts of France, is NOT Champagne, but rather, sparkling wine.

At Taittinger Champagne house in Reims. Taittinger is delicate and exquisite, a Champagne of finesse and grace.

In the cellars of Taittinger

And of course, the tasting room.

For bolder flavor and body, my favorite is Bollinger.

In Bollinger's vineyard.

The fermentation tanks.

Bollinger's tasting room.

Epernay France, a delightful town which is home to some of the great Champagne houses.

The Champagne house of Moet & Chandon on the Avenue de Champagne in Epernay.