A Year in Champagne

Sometimes you can catch great movies on the plane.  I recently had the pleasure of watching A Year in Champagne, a documentary about the ins and outs of champagne making.  It followed several champagne producers and shows how difficult of an industry it is for us to be able to enjoy this bubbly liquid.

Producers/vintners have code to follow, tough seasons, some have small shops (and even crops), but all have one goal — to deliver a delectable bottle with a cork that pops and a liquid we enjoy.  It was also wonderful to see how there are still the small family-owned businesses working against the big corporate ones.  There is a lot of behind the scenes work and business that happens, from sales to chemistry to timing and more.  A quality line in the movie and one or my favorites, perfect for the industry was along the lines of ‘Don’t trust anyone who doesn’t drink.’

Some of the greatest highlights:

-one vintner has 750,000 (yes 3/4 million) bottles they turn by hand (frequently) over the course of a year to deliver the best taste

-vines are restricted to a certain height, otherwise licenses can be revoked

-they have a specific/allocated amount of time in which they can harvest, otherwise licenses can be revoked


(image source: ayearinchampagne.com)

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