Can we describe visiting caves of Pommery as a modern dream for adults? It’s like being in a museum in which you can drink champagne. Learning about its history, enjoying different art expositions, and tasting the exceptional wine made in these caves are making the dreams come true.
As we arrived, the gates opened to a huge garden calling us to discover inside, and lead us to the buildings behind, this scenery gave me the sensation of being welcomed and the first view was just impressive. During the tour, we were able to learn more about the architecture of these buildings. It was the vision of Madame Pommery from architecture to philosophy, to make it a place where people would like to visit. From the first step until the very last one, this place accomplishes its goals.
The art exhibition at Maison Pommery takes place every year. A different theme is selected for a representation of a series of art, and placed into different parts of the property, from garden to the chalk caves. When we visited this champagne house, the theme was gigantesque. A huge balloon in the shape of a tree with giant fruits on it welcomed us, this was the first piece of the exposition. Following at the hall and entrance to the caves, it continued with a huge table with chairs, a huge elephant upside down, and a huge wire cage.
The exposition went on downstairs in the caves. This is an incredible way to blend champagne with art: The visit becomes more interesting, and the art pieces find a place where it can have a precise meaning. For example, there were giant boots in one of the rooms at the caves, representing the vineyard workers. Their work is appreciated by this piece of art.
Apart from that, we were able to see the champagne bottles stacked, aging under these optimal conditions, and side by side with colorful artwork representing the artistic side of champagne making.
Artwork was placed everywhere in the caves and it was just amazing, every passage was leading us to another surprise and to breathtaking scenery.
Just before climbing up the stairs to the entrance hall, we passed from a room where they store their oldest vintages produced. The oldest vintage in the room was 1874. According to our guide, there is no date set for opening that bottle, it will probably never be tasted. There were other very old bottles in this library, one bottle from 1898, others from 1904, 1906 and so on.
Visit to Pommery showed the importance and amazing results of the women’s touch in shaping the production and image of Champagne. It was thanks to the vision of Madame Pommery that these quarries were transformed into cellars in 1868. Again, it was her vision to produce brut champagne since she believed that the reason why the champagne was not as successful as it could be in the English market was the excessive sweetness that it had. Without her vision, passion and bold decisions in champagne, it’s hard to guess what style of champagne we would be drinking nowadays.
To finalize the visit, we had a glass of Brut Grand Cru Royal vintage 2006. A blend of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir from the grand cru villages of Côtés des Blanc and Montagne de Reims. Before coming out from the caves we just visited it waited over sixty months on lees. The result is these elegant bubbles with shiny yellow color, aromas of citrus, melon and brioche and a balanced palate with enjoyable freshness and complexity. It made a perfect pairing with the atmosphere in the entrance hall, with all the interesting artwork that we were surrounded by.
All images © 2019 by Wines of Nesli. All rights reserved.
I have a bottle of 1906 Pommery Champagne. It has not been stored properly over the years. 25% of the Champagne has evaporated. What would the value be?
Additionally, it was supposedly survived the earthquake and fire in San Francisco at the Palace Hotel. Is it possible that a 1906 vintage of Pommery could have been in a storeroom at the hotel when the earthquake happened the summer of 1906?