Monday August 7, Mareuil-sur-Ay

Tonight we are staying on the Marne Canal, only about 10 kms from where we stayed last night but have had a great day cruising around the region in the most perfect weather, we really are getting spoilt on our last few days here. It was a leisurely morning, chatting with Mandy before saying “au revoir”. It has been a really good catch up.
Mandy recommended visiting the small village of Hautvillers on a neighbouring hilltop. This area really is so picturesque, the trimmed vines forming such distinct patterns on the hillsides. The soil is a very white and chalky and seems to be the reason that this region is so perfect for growing the grapes for making champagne.

The Ferrari seemed right at home in Hautvillers

Geraniums everywhere.
Hautvillers is really the home of Champagne as in the 18th century the Benedictine Monk, Dom Perignon discovered the champagne wine making process. Such a beautiful village and we enjoyed a walk around the streets and coffee at the cafe.
The scenery in this region is superb.

A fun tasting, with Beatrice from London

And this is where it is made.
After lunch, we drove around Epernay and up in the hills on the other side to Cramant, another champagne village. Last night we were talking to a Belgian couple who recommended a small winemaker with an excellent champagne. The tasting turned into quite an interesting session, the wife of the winemaker was delightful and then we were joined by a young couple from London who were biking around the area. There were lots of laughing and we managed to talk quite well with the lady. And the champagne was very good! Driving around this region has been one of the highlights for us.
Mandy had recommended the Aire on this canal and it is very pleasant, we are parked under trees in a small village overlooking the water. Looking forward to riding the cycle path tomorrow.
..Later. Last night ended up being one of the things we most like about our way of travelling. After dinner we sat outside enjoying the evening and ended up chatting with our “neighbours”, Anna-Lena and Michael. Such great company as we shared travel stories and learnt that they had spent time travelling throughout NZ in a campervan. It ended up quite a late night!

Petanque on the local square tonight


Bugsy Malone said…
lovely, looks like you might have saved the best till last!
I'm staying to be convinced this is just a wine tour under the guise of holiday. Just make sure you drink all our share as well!
b**** auto-correct... *starting*
Meg Lipscombe said…
HI Jen and Sarah - it really was a great area, especially with the sun shining. Jen, I am surprised you didn't realise this earlier!!!
Anna-Lena & Michael said…
Hi,we can only agree! It was such a wonderful evening and great meeting two nice Kiwis.:-)
Our holiday is over and we are back in Sweden; working but already planning our next trip. We wish you both the best of times and hope you'll keep in touch!
X X X Anna-Lena & Michael
Meg Lipscombe said…
Hello Anna-Lena and Michael. What a great evening we had. Many memories.