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Domaine Chandon: A Champagne Surprise in Southern Australia

December 12, 2012 at 5:05 PM | by | Comments (0)

If you're not one to pass up a flute of bubbly then you probably know the name Mot & Chandon, the 250+ year old French house that churns out some of the best Champagne on the planet. Well, the sparkles are not limited to the French region with the expansion of the house into other grape-growing regions across the globe. Aside from the vineyards in Napa Valley, Argentina and Brazil, we bring you the grapes of Australia.

Back in the 1960s, M&C began to explore areas for taking their operations abroad. In 1986, they settled on a little plot of land just about 90 minutes north of Melbourne in the Yarra Valley. The site was a former dairy and housed some of the best soil for ideal viticulture. It's now home to Domaine Chandon. Along with an expansive variety of non-bubbly wines, the winery is a certified producer of the mthode traditionelle sparkling wines with a regional flare.

Of course a visit to the vineyard wouldn't be complete without a stop at the cellar door for a few sips. And after a thorough sampling, not to mention maybe feeling a little tipsy, we may have bought a few bottles. That sounds all well and good, but it's not the best part.

Visitors can take a free tour of the inner caverns of the winery to see how the premium wines are made, including a discussion on the varietals, the extracting and fermenting the juice to bottling and perserving. We even had the opportunity to step into the caves housing the special bottles of sparkling wine; riddler and riddler filled with bottles waiting to be labeled and sent away to a nice home.

To finish this oenophilic dream, we recommend following our example with a delicious lunch paired with Chandon wines, all overlooking the precise rows of vines. Between the wine, the meal and the views, we found the entire experience quite cathartic and left completely satisfied.

Speaking of grapes; to ensure the perfect quality of grapes, our tour guide told us if the mercury drops too low too early in the season, they will deploy their very own helicopters to hover over the vines to prevent the frosty jacket of night. It must be nice to be part of the biggest luxury brand group in the world, Louis Vuitton Mot Chandon

Salut!

[Photos: Rayme Gorniak/Jaunted]

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