by Paige Donner
Every year in September France celebrates their Heritage Days, called the Journées du Patrimoine. This year, I dared to take a preview peek at one of the few new fabulous developments in Champagne.
The oldest co-operative in Champagne, known now as Champagne Collet, located in the little village of Aÿ , has just finished its thorough renovations and construction of elaborate exhibit facilities that depict both the history of champagne in the region and their development as a Top Ten champagne producer.
This champagne house, Champagne Collet, was first established as a Co-operative in 1921. It is the oldest Co-operative in Champagne.
View of Champagne de Castellane Tower in Epernay as you cross the bridge into Epernay coming from Aÿ, Champagne, France. This photo was taken just during the end of harvest 2014, at the golden hour.
All photos by Paige Donner copyright 2014
The significance of its location in Aÿ, France, which sits just between Reims and Epernay, both dominant champagne producing towns in the region, is that it is the historic setting for the champagne growers’ revolt that took place early in the 20th c. here.
Part of the fabulous exhibit that their facility now houses shows historical photographs and even an old (restored) film that gives accounts of this event. The event served to shape the history of the region and even the wine itself, which has so famously become known around the globe as champagne.
The cellars are also not to be missed. Their vintage cuvées are displayed with elegant accompaniment of local celebrated photographer’s, Michel Jolyot’s, photos.
Since it is not yet officially open to the public, I am posting only a few photos here for now. When it does open its doors for public entry, it is definitely not to be missed. And the little town of Aÿ is one of the most beautiful little villages in Champagne. It is also home to Bollinger and Deutz among several other top-class champagnes.