Champagne Week 2017 – a dark star


Tim Hall reports on the latest edition of this annual showtime for Champagne’s grower-producers and highlights three particularly impressive producers. See also his report on Champagne Week 2016

Champagne has strange traffic patterns. At harvest time roads swell with tractors taking champagne houses’ bought-in grapes to pressoirs and they vie with tankers taking fresh-pressed juice to Big Champagne, the giant house brands whose labels we know so well, and the bigger co-operatives that make so much champagne for Europe’s supermarkets. The backstreets of Reims and Épernay can get a little tricky. But not all Champagne’s grapes go to factory-scale...