Today, we are taking you for a walk to a magical haven of tranquillity in Reims, France. The palace doesn’t look so much like a palace from a fairy tale, but rather like a mansion belonging to merchant form eighteenth-century France. The edifice is enormous and is all adorned by little white windows with blue shutters and brick chimneys. The balconies appear to be like blue see-through lace in front of the entrance while the gardens are immaculately organised and symmetrical. This is Château de la Marquetterie — initially in the possession of French fabric merchants and later the birthplace of Champagne Taittinger.
The connection between the owners of the palace and the champagne itself might not be so obvious, but it has its story. The family manages to buy the neighbouring vineyard from the Benedictine monks, which is located on the hill that later becomes known as Les Folies de la Marquetterie. Today, members of the Taittinger family are strollingup and down the hills and within the walls of the palace.
Champagne Taittinger is one of the most renowned French champagne houses. In 1932, Pierre Taittinger buys Château de la Marquetterie from the wine house of Forest-Fourneaux. The castle is used as a command point during the First World War and Pierre himself is positioned there after undergoing a heart attack in battle. The place is of great significance to him and the already established wine-making tradition there helps choose it as the residence of Taittinger.
Perhaps because of the experience, Taittinger decides to celebrate the pleasures of life, firmly believing that special moments in life are best experienced with exquisite champagne and a good company. The unparalleled delicacy of this beverage produced by the French house definitely contains a secret ingredient apart from the Chardonnay. Perhaps, this could be the love of life, which almost slipped away from Pierre’s hands. Perhaps, his champagne is a sparkling, trembling celebration of second chances in life. Perhaps, the dry brut champagne and the impeccable wines of the highest quality are the manifestation of a man who has come in close contact with the true knowledge about life.
Champagne Taittinger is the second largest owner of land in the region of Champagne and the most important sections of this land—the Chardonnay plantations—are a physical expression of Taittinger’s philosophy and style. We are talking about the philosophy of life, the one that you realise only when your breath is taken away. Perhaps, Pierre has captured his life experience in those 3000 decares of vineyards… And every grape born there is an ode to the victory of life over war and over the perishability of flesh.
The family makes its champagne famous through the art of taking as much as possible from life. Instead of liqueurs and fortified wines, the production focuses on the delicate first press of the fruit. Champagne Taittinger is mostly created from Chardonnay—the best-esteemed of grape varieties in Champagne. In the wine cellars of Château de la Marquetterie, however, there hides another masterpiece — Comtes de Champagne Blanc de Blancs Brut. Exceptional quality achieved through 100% Chardonnay grapes.
With their 35% Chardonnay, 50% Pinot Noir and 15% Pinot Meunier, the vineyards on the hill of Les Folies de la Marquetterie reflect something much more than the style of the Taittinger family. Perhaps romantically, but perhaps strategically, it is Pierre who chooses these varieties to produce his champagne. His recipe includes 35% of heavenly grapes with a very difficult character—Chardonnay, which is as sweet as honey for the soul. There is 50% of strong foundation, which is highly beneficial to the human heart—Pinot Noir. And for the final touches—15% of Pinot Meunier with a light flowery taste that tickles the senses.
And just so that you don’t think we are the only ones who adore the gorgeous Champagne Taittinger, we are going to remind you that it was the officially preferred champagne of 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil. For the first time in history, FIFA had an official champagne that was offered to guests at the VIP and VVIP areas during the World Cup in 2014 and Taittinger was also an official partner of the event in 2018 in Moscow. In Bulgaria, the champagne could be ordered from www.winebox.bg. There, we find a generous opportunity to get acquainted with a French fairy tale of how a man named Pierre captured the pleasure of life in a bottle.
Text: Milla Stoyanova
Photos: Champagne Taittinger