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Who Am I?

17 years spent living and working in Champagne has allowed Jiles to build up a vast amount of knowledge about all things bubbly as well as a very extensive network of contacts, especially amongst the smaller and less well-known champagne makers whose champagnes will probably amaze you with their quality and diversity.

A job as area manager for Asia and Australia with Moët et Chandon was what first drew Jiles to Champagne after completing an MBA in Luxury Brand Management at ESSEC, a prestigious business school just outside Paris.

After nearly 9 years at Moët Jiles moved back to the UK where he started one of the first online businesses promoting and selling grower champagnes, wrote two books on champagne and created an online champagne study course.

However the draw of ‘The King of Wines and the Wine of Kings’ once again proved irresistible and another 8 year stay in Champagne was the result.

Jiles now puts his knowledge and contacts to work in helping businesses and individuals to create their own private champagne brand.


 

Warning-Vendanges300The harvest in Champagne is under way. The first village to start picking was Montgueux down in the south of the region near the town of Troyes, but that's 100 kilometres south of Reims and Epernay and in this moire northerly areas they're not going to get started for a few days yet.

Typically the villages on the north and north-east facing slopes of La Montagne de Reims are amongst the last to start picking and in this short video, filmed in the Grand Cru village of Verzy,  you can see why they need a few more days yet for the grapes to reach full maturity.

You'll also learn an easy way to tell a Pinot Noir vine from a Chardonnay vine.

https://youtu.be/HQYcDnZ_mms

Come back soon for more harvest news from Champagne

 

Do you struggle to find the right words to describe wine aromas? I know I do.

The pictures below, courtesy of the CIVC, may help. They show how champagne aromas develop with age ranging from 2 – 8 years.

Many champagnes can age for far longer than 8 years, provided they are stored in good conditions, but it’s always hard to know exactly how long to keep champagne.

Here’s a useful rule of thumb that I was given several years ago. It’s a bit simplistic, but if you use it you’re unlikely to go far wrong:

Keep champagne after purchase for as long as it was aged in the cellar before being sold –

i.e. 2-3 years for non-vintage champagne and up to 7-8 years for vintage champagne

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Pictures by the CIVC (Comité Champagne)

Resu-matu2In last week’s post I mentioned the Réseau Matu which is a network pf small teams of vignerons in selected villages that sample the grapes every few days in the run-up to the harvest so as to track the ripeness of the grapes and thereby to determine the start date of the harvest. In this bulletin you can discover more about the Réseau Matu and really get to understand why it is so important in planning the harvest.

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