People do enjoy coming to stay with us, but there can never be very many at a time. The Gayot Guide has just named our 1804 Inn and Cottages among their Top 10 favorite destinations in American wine country travel. Please come, verify their findings when you can. Just don’t expect a crowd. http://www.gayot.com/…/10best_winecountryinns…/1804_inn.html
“Wine from long habit has become indispensable to my health.” – Thomas Jefferson
Thomas Jefferson, third President of the United States, was a multi-faceted genius whose numerous areas of expertise ranged from architecture to zoology. His passion for wine, while largely neglected by historians, is one of the most fascinating aspects of his persona.
Jefferson’s journals and correspondence contain many references to wine, including detailed critiques of the wines he tasted. He may, in fact, have been American’s first wine critic.
In 1787, while he was living in France as a representative the Untied States government, Jefferson took a three-month tour of many of the wine regions of France, Italy, and Germany. He traveled incognito, so that he could learn what life was really like in these regions, and so that he would not have to spend his time in formal dinners with the aristocracy. He sought out vine growers and winemakers as well as the “common man and woman” living in the various wine regions.
Monticello, Thomas Jefferson’s Virginia Plantation
Lucky for us modern-day wine lovers, Jefferson kept an extensive diary of his adventures in the wine regions of Europe, charting his travels as well as his opinions on quality and character of the inns, the food, the architecture, and of course, the wines he tasted. His diaries are a fascinating insight into the wine world of the 18th century, and of the character and persona of this complex and charming man.
about the author:
Linda Lawry, CWE, DWS, is the Director of the International Wine Center in New York City. She is also on the faculty of New York University, where she has been teaching the Wine and Spirits Studies course in the Department of Nutrition and Food Studies since 1997. She is a member of the Board of Directors of the Society of Wine Educators, a member of Les Dames d’Escoffier, and program co-chair of the Culinary Historians of New York. Linda graduated with honors from the New York Restaurant School, holds the WSET Diploma, and is a Certified Wine Educator.
A Toast to the Champagne Houses of France – Images by Points and Travel
As I raised my glass for a sip, the effervescence of the bubbly tickled my nose, just as I imagined it would have done to monk Dom Perignon had he discovered that his blended grapes made such a fuss. Even though this revered beverage became popular a full century after his death, the rumor that he created Champagne is just one of the legends that make up this region’s rich history. Thanks to its terroir, which represents its climate, its chalky soil, and hilly lands, the Champagne region of France has made quite a name for itself. It is associated with haute bourgeoisie, romance, and celebration. There clearly is no wine more evocative than Champagne, the king of sparking wine.
By law, no one outside of this region is allowed to call sparkling wine Champagne. Spain may have its Cava, Italy its Spumante, and California its sparkling wine, but Champagne only comes from Champagne, France. And there’s no getting away with trying to cheat the system! Scientists today can prove the clear existence of a unique biogeographical fingerprint based on the types and amounts of fungi and bacteria present in a grape (or crushed grape, in this case).
These may be the only Champagne houses in the world, but there are more than 100 of them in this region. They are a must-see for any luxury traveler visiting Paris. A mere 29 minute train ride on the TGV from the Charles de Gaulle airport will put you smack dab in the middle of Champagne faster than your taxi would get you to your hotel in Paris!
“A single glass of Champagne imparts a feeling of exhilaration. The nerves are braced; the imagination is stirred, the wits become more nimble.” – Winston Churchill
The two main towns for Champagne production in the region are Reims and Epernay, located respectively North and South of the Mountain of Reims. Both can rightfully lay claim to being the center of the Champagne world; the major Champagne Houses are headquartered at one or the other.
Seven UNESCO world heritage wine regions to visit – Decanter
Some of the best memories of I have exploring in the Champagne region of France this past April is the pure and innocent beauty of this countryside of rolling vineyards. Such an elegant place where you can feel the joy when you talk to people who have been working this land for centuries. Like the roots and vines of these grapes, the people are entwined and grounded to this land and what it produces. From the larger Champagne houses to the smaller Grand Cru farmlands it is an amazing part of French history in itself. And now officially a World Heritage region since this past July 2015.