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Onwards to Epernay!

Last Mayday bank holiday Monday, a beautiful sunny day, and thirty members of inChoir  were heading towards the Champagne region, in North East France, passing breathtaking views of bright yellow rapeseed and quaint villages.   The previous two days had been spent having fun at Disneyland, including a performance on the Cinemagique Stage at Disney, and a night in Reims including a very interesting tour of the city.

We arrived in Oger at the" Champagne Henry de Vaugency", a traditional, family run Champagne house since 1732. The present owner, Pascal, the 8th generation of winegrowers, gave us a guided tour which included a collection of old labels of Champagne, plus the collection of old objects used to work in the vineyard and to make the Champagne, and we visited the 18th century Champagne cellars and learnt about the processes involved in the making of the Champagne.  Then the part everyone had been waiting for, the Tasting of the Grand Cru Champagnes, which included five very generous tastings, with many inChoirers purchasing bottles to take home with them.  Then it was off for a very delicious lunch of French cuisine cooked by the owner's wife.  


During the visit many of the ladies needed to use the facilities so a long queue was formed for the three loos.  A good laugh was had when two of the men (one of them being Mark) came in and found that there area was right in the middle of the room in full view of everyone!!  They made a quick exit!

Then it was back on the coach, and we went merrily on our way to the next visit, "Mercier Champagne House", in Epernay.  


A very different experience this time. In the entrance they have on display the 1890's hand crafted barrel, that holds 200,000 bottles of Champagne, which was made and brought to Paris for the 1889 World's Fair, then a short video to watch, whilst waiting for the video to start, Mark conducted us in a spontaneous rendition of Ah Poor Bird.  We then all boarded a rather Disney style elevator which displayed lit up animatronics, as we descended to the Champagne cellars, which took us to a train ride around some of the extensive network (18 kms) of cellars. Each of us had our own individual headsets, which gave a running commentary explaining the history of Mercier and the Champagne making process. We were able to see the many million bottles of Champagnes as the train drove us around the long atmospheric cellars. Then it was back up in the elevator for a very delicious flute of Mercier Champagne, and some more retail therapy for some!


Back on the coach now, for our journey back to Calais, with our purchases safely loaded up underneath.  


Another amazing  inChoir holiday with great food, beautiful scenery, fun Disney rides, lovely singing , delicious Champagne and some wonderful memories made. 


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