We have tested for you a harvest day organized by Champagne J de Telmont!
The champagne house opens its doors in Damery, a commune about 6 miles from Epernay in order to take part in a special day: a harvest day! Arriving in the courtyard of the domain, we can see the beautiful building that contains the secrets of the creation of this exceptional champagne. We are welcomed by Betrand Lhopital, director of the house J de Telmont for 20 years and Philippe Manfredini, Commercial Director.
Despite the changing and capricious weather, we set off for the vineyard. A few steps from the house (and climbing a little!), we quickly reach a breathtaking view. From where we are, we can only contemplate these immense hectares of vineyards that overlooks the whole town of Damery and its surroundings. We stop in the vineyards to pay attention to the explanations of Bertrand Lhopital about the vine and the grape. As the grapes have already been harvested, it is not possible to contribute to the harvesting. Nevertheless, we are advised to taste the bunches of grapes left on the vine – they are sweet and luscious!
We then go back to the house – we arrive in a tent specially erected for the occasion, where musicians play a jazz tune. It is with pleasure that we taste a cup of the Cuvée Grande Réserve Brut, a classic of the house J de Telmont: elegant and refined, fruity and delicate.
We then go sit to our table to taste the famous potée champenoise, the culinary specialty of the region. It is made of bacon, pork, sausage and smoked ham. The whole is decorated with carrots, turnips, potatoes and cabbage – this is the typical meal of the grave harvester! We start talking to our neighbors who are from the Bordeaux region – we spend a pleasant moment exchanging on the strengths of our respective regions and our taste in wine.
After the meal, we are invited to taste grape juice, directly from the press – a sweet juice, still weak in character but nevertheless very tasty. We are then led to a room where the chief of the cellar presents us with the thunderbolts – these are huge barrels where the grapes that have just been pressed are stored. The juice will stay in these barrels for several days. We descend even further down to the cellars, where we see thousands of bottles, superimposed one upon the other. These are the wines that rest until they are assembled to create a cuvée. Betrand Lhopital explains how the assembly of champagne is carried out, from the pressing of the grapes to the final product.
To finish this day, we are lucky enough to attend the filling of the presses – we observe the workers load these monsters with 8000kgs of grapes, which will be pressed for several hours in order to obtain a juice without residue. A big thank you to the Champagne J. de Telmont for this welcome – we look forward to renewing the experience next year!
If you want to discover other activities offered by the winery, click here !
Also published on Medium.