2016 Champagne Harvest

The Champagne harvest is complete for 2016! The grapes have all been picked by hand and are now bubbling away in their fermentation vessels! Learn about the laborious and extraordinary process of harvesting in Champagne below.

(Below: The youngest member of Champagne Redon helping with harvest and the cutest harvest picture ever!)

HAND-PICKED

All of our growers hand-pick their grapes each harvest season. Bunches of grapes are snipped directly from the vine using secateurs (small pruning clippers), then placed in buckets and baskets that are transported to each family’s press.

Although the process is extremely laborious and requires a lot of people, hand-picking ensures that only the highest quality grapes go into each pressing.

2016 Champagne Harvest

2016 Champagne Harvest

2016 Champagne Harvest

2016 Champagne Harvest

PRESSING

Once the grapes arrive at each family’s cuverie, they are weighed and measured into the press. Many of our growers still use traditional wooden presses (pictured below), that gently press grapes into juice that is channeled to tanks underneath. Between each press, the grapes are mixed with pitch forks to ensure maximum juice extraction. 
2016 Champagne Harvest

2016 Champagne Harvest

2016 Champagne Harvest

2016 Champagne Harvest

PRIMARY FERMENTATION

After pressing, the grape juice is stored in barrels, concrete tanks, or stainless steel vats for primary fermentation. The juice is tasted at various stages of fermentation to determine future blends and vintages.

Bryan will be headed back to Champagne in January to taste the freshly fermented wines. We can’t wait to see what’s bubbling up!

2016 Champagne Harvest

 

 

Bryan stars on New Day Northwest!

 

Fat Cork was on New Day Northwest! Bryan sat down with New Day Northwest host, Margaret Larson, to teach a Champagne lesson and tell the story of Fat Cork on live TV.

Champagne Jean Baillette-Prudhomme’s Visit to the PNW!

We had an amazing week of vineyard tours, educational seminars, and Champagne tastings with Champagne Jean Baillette-Prudhomme! We had the pleasure of hosting our producer, Laureen, her mother, Marie-France, and our business partner, Cristina.

We started the week with dinner at the Maletis home to celebrate our French guests’ arrival!

Champagne Jean Baillette-Prudhomme’s Visit to the PNW!

 

Marie France, Laureen, Cristina, Abby, and Bryan, hosted a Champagne Seminar at Fat Cork. Laureen led a wonderful educational course on her family’s history and production methods, and even brought pink aprons from her Champagne house for our team to wear!

Champagne Jean Baillette-Prudhomme’s Visit to the PNW!

Champagne Jean Baillette-Prudhomme’s Visit to the PNW!

Champagne Jean Baillette-Prudhomme’s Visit to the PNW!

Champagne Jean Baillette-Prudhomme’s Visit to the PNW!

Champagne Jean Baillette-Prudhomme’s Visit to the PNW!

 

We hosted a Champagne reception with Champagne Jean Baillette-Prudhomme Tavolàta for our Seattle customers. The team at Tavolàta prepared amazing French fare that paired with each cuvée in the Champagne Jean Baillette-Prudhomme collection.

Champagne Jean Baillette-Prudhomme’s Visit to the PNW!

Champagne Jean Baillette-Prudhomme’s Visit to the PNW!

Champagne Jean Baillette-Prudhomme’s Visit to the PNW!

Champagne Jean Baillette-Prudhomme’s Visit to the PNW!

Champagne Jean Baillette-Prudhomme’s Visit to the PNW!

 

Cheryl at Pix Pâtisserie hosted us for a lovely afternoon Champagne tasting in Portland!

Champagne Jean Baillette-Prudhomme’s Visit to the PNW!

 

While in Oregon, we toured the amazing Eyrie Vineyards with Jason Lett. After our tour, we enjoyed a lovely lunch; Jason Lett made us duck and fresh morels, and even spoke perfect French the entire visit!

Champagne Jean Baillette-Prudhomme’s Visit to the PNW!

Champagne Jean Baillette-Prudhomme’s Visit to the PNW!

 

We also enjoyed a tour of ROCO Winery with the wonderful Rollin Soles!

Champagne Jean Baillette-Prudhomme’s Visit to the PNW!

 

While in Oregon, we had dinner at The Dundee Bistro with Rollin & Corby Soles of ROCO Winery, our French producers, and Dick, Nancy, and Luisa Ponzi of Ponzi Vineyards!

Champagne Jean Baillette-Prudhomme’s Visit to the PNW!

 

We ended the week at the Sparkling Wine Symposium at Ponzi Vineyards. Bryan and Laureen were honored to be featured on the panel among sparkling wine experts to teach other industry members about bubbly.

Champagne Jean Baillette-Prudhomme’s Visit to the PNW!