Last year I took my first wine trip. Technically it was my second or third, but, at that time I had no idea I was actually in a wine country.
I’ll explain. It was in the 70’s and my family used to spent weekends in the mountains north of my hometown Porto Alegre, Brazil. Believe it or not, they grow grapes there and they are big in sparkling wines.
Back then they didn’t produce so much sparkling wines, but mainly rustic, every day table red wine. So my family went straight to the source to get wine jugs and grape juice, and those were officially my very first visits to a winery.
However, I like the idea that my first adult trip to a wine country was also with my family, but to no less than CHAMPAGNE! No other wine evokes celebration, joy and happiness like Champagne, and to go there, touch those vines, smell that soil and sip the final product was simply rapture.
Driving through the Champagne Route we couldn’t help but stop by and taste the wines from smaller houses that cater only to their strong local market. With such a limited production and high demand, they don’t even bother to export.
Then we toured Pommery Estate and their 18 kilometers (11 miles) long roman-time cave, where 20 million bottles of the bubbly stuff lies at 30 meters (100 feet) below ground at a constant temperature of 10 degrees Celsius (50 Fahreinheit).
It was heaven!