Have you ever wondered what it’s like to participate to a grape harvest at a prestigious Champagne estate such as Champagne de Telmont? Well, we tried it. We loved it. We share every steps with you: let yourself be guided and immersed into a rebirthed Champagne house through this unique experience!
We have tested for you a harvest day organized by Champagne de Telmont!
Experiencing grape harvest is a great way to discover wine all over again, by being at the closest point there is to wine: the vine and its environment. It is a true privilege to literally find yourself into the vineyard, and seeing the amazing fruit of the vine: a huge and beautiful bunch of grapes. You understand so much more the passion of the wine-grower for its soil, its vine and all parameters that are part of wine-growing. Here, at the Champagne J. de Telmont estate, we had a privileged day next to Bertrand Lhopital, who took the time to share his story and dedication to Champagne.
Arriving at Champagne J. de Telmont
The Champagne House opens its doors in Damery, a small town home to the some of the best Epernay Champagne houses in order to take part in a special day: a harvest day! Arriving in the courtyard of the domain, we can see the beautiful building that contains the secrets of the creation of this exceptional champagne. We are welcomed by Bertrand Lhopital, director of the Champagne House J. de Telmont for 20 years and Philippe Manfredini, Commercial Director.
Starting the harvest
Despite the changing and capricious weather, we set off for the vineyard. A few steps from the Champagne House (and a little bit of climbing!), we quickly reach a breathtaking view. From where we stand, we can only contemplate these immense hectares of vineyards that overlooks the whole town of Damery and its surroundings. We stop in the vineyards to pay attention and listen to Bertrand Lhopital’s explanations about the vine and the grape. As the grapes have already been harvested, it is not possible to contribute to the harvesting. Nevertheless, we are advised to taste the bunches of grapes left on the vine – they are sweet and luscious!
Break time: Potée Champenoise and Champagne
We then go back to the house – we arrive in a tent specially erected for the occasion, where musicians play a jazz tune. It is with pleasure that we taste a cup of the Cuvée Grande Réserve Brut, a classic vintage of the Champagne House J. de Telmont: elegant and refined, fruity and delicate.
We then go sit to our table to taste the famous Potée Champenoise, the culinary specialty of the region. It is made of bacon, pork, sausage and smoked ham. The whole dish is decorated with carrots, turnips, potatoes and cabbage – this is the typical meal of the grape harvester! We start talking to our neighbors who are from the Bordeaux region – we spend a pleasant moment exchanging on the strengths of our respective regions and our personal taste in wine.
Discovering J. de Telmont cellars
After the meal, we are invited to taste grape juice, directly from the press – a sweet juice, still weak in character but nevertheless very tasty. We are then led to a room where the chief of the cellar presents us with the thunderbolts – these are huge barrels where the grapes that have just been pressed are stored. The juice will stay in these barrels for several days.
We descend even further down to Champagne J. de Telmont cellars, where we see thousands of bottles, superimposed one upon the other. These are the wines that rest until they are assembled to create a cuvée. Betrand Lhopital explains how the assembly of champagne is carried out, from the pressing of the grapes to the final product.
To finish this day, we are lucky enough to attend the filling of the presses – we observe the workers load these monsters with 8000kgs of grapes, which will be pressed for several hours in order to obtain a juice without residue.
A big thank you to the Champagne J. de Telmont for this welcome – we look forward to renewing the experience next year!
Discover other activities at Champagne J. de Telmont!
To the delights of tourists and locals, Champagne J. de Telmont offers quite an interesting choice of wine activities, from gourmets experiences to outdoor tours and cellar visits. Book what temps you most!
Where to buy some J. de Telmont Champagne?
You can buy some J. Telmont Champagne at the estate, during or after your wine tourism experiences. Book online you next adventure there!
What kinds of Champagne does J. de Telmont offer?
The Maison’s renowned Champagne is their Grande Réserve Brut.
You’ll also find some Blanc de Blanc, Blanc de Noirs and other specials of the estate. Find out more on their website.
Is Champagne J. de Telmont open on the weekend?
Yes, the Champagne J. de Telmont estate is open on weekends, but you can of course check availabilities for visits and wine tastings in real time on Winalist.
Does Champagne J. de Telmont offer group experiences?
Yes indeed! The estate can welcome up to 30 people altogether. To know more on their wine experience offer, click here!