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  • Bubbles and tradition respect the terroir and nature

    The trip that the Botte Piccola is pleased to offer you is a “bubbly” romantic weekend in the Champagne region of France.

    A trip that will give you the opportunity to visit 4 different producers of the famous pétillant wine, discovering the peculiarities of the diverse production traditions and the different stages of this high quality product.

    This is a real tour of the Champagne region dedicated to tasting what the diverse terroirs have to offer, thanks to the hospitality of the producers who make their “maison” available, for a weekend to be relished.

    With the aim of making your short visit to France as pleasurable as possible, the Botte Piccola will see to your comfort from your arrival at the airport to your return.

    At the airport on Friday there will already be a chauffeur driven car at your disposal to calmly accompany you to your accomodation: a marvellous home de charme set in the French countryside, ideal for a weekend to dream about.

    A welcoming climate and a lush garden, this beautiful relais is the perfect place to switch off from the frenetic life of the city and pamper yourself in the gentle hills of the Champagne region.

    You can dine in the welcoming restaurant and taste the traditional foods expertly prepared by talented chefs, exclusively using fresh, seasonal products.

    After the “bubbly forays”, Botte Piccola guests will appreciate the lovely heated swimming pool which opens onto the patio, sauna and gym.

    On Saturday morning, you will enter the heart and soul of the trip.

    The Botte Piccola has organised for you a visit to the Maison Billecart- Salmon, a company which has remained independent and is run by the family whose roots have been in the Mareuil sur Ay for 350 years.

    The Billecart family produce one of the most exclusive and renowned Champagnes: the 1959 vintage was voted the best Champagne of the year in Stockholm in June 1999, compared with 150 vintage champagnes from 1918 to 1990.

    The Maison receives constant and continuous recognition from the critics. The use of small 50 hl fermentation Cuves, which allow the must coming from each individual vineyard to be fermented separately and for different periods,  guarantees a constantly high level of quality.

    After this “first lesson” in the noble northern region of the Champagne,

    we will take you on a discovery of the lesser known south-east area where it is still possible to find labels at moderate prices but of the highest quality.

    The second producer we’ve chosen is Champagne Fleury Père et fils. In this case, too, the tradition dates from 1896.

    Champagne Fleury converted to biodynamic methods in 1989. The Maison uses compost of organic origin instead of chemical, carries out manual weeding (without the use of herbicides) rather than mechanical, and discerningly uses phytosanitary products, following the dictates of an illuminated and respectful method of agriculture.

    Following the excellent results of the experimental conversion of the first 3 hectares, Champagne Fleury has now grown all its grapes biodynamically since 1992.

    We believe that Champagne Fleury will provide a good opportunity for you to taste this precious nectar produced in a normally little-known area.

    The Botte Piccola tour leaves you free to choice a restaurant, to give you the opportunity to explore the inns and the excellent restaurants which dot the region; naturally, a car and driver will be at your complete disposal and we will be happy to supply you a list of restaurants at your reques.

    Feel free to choose where to dine and allow yourself to be tempted along the way and to experience a day without contraints.

    On Sunday morning, after a rich and nourishing breakfast, it’s time to discover the Maison Beaufort.

    Jacques Beaufort’s journey began in 1969 when, still working alongside his father André, he discovered that he was allergic to synthetic products while on medical treatment. Eighteen months later, he changed to organic farming.

    Since then, his six and a half acres of vineyards - partly in Ambonnay, classified Grand Cru, and partly in Polisy, in the Aube region - are no longer treated with synthetic products but only with natural compounds which he produces himself in order to maintain the humus necessary for the vine.

    His neighbours complain because he doesn’t eliminate insects considered harmful to the vine but he maintains the equilibrium vital for his vines in a simple manner. In order to limit the environmental impact of fungicides tollerated in organic farming (copper salts and sulphur), he has been experimenting for several years with homeopathy and aromatherapy, creating solutions with plants and essential oils.

    In the cellar, the surprises are never-ending, the disgorging is still done “à la volée”, and not for folkloric reasons: “letting each bottle breathe one last time allows me to perfect the cuvée”, says Jacques Beaufort. Sceptics are obliged to bow their heads because Beaufort regularly receives praise from journalists writing for the most important magazines and specialised guides. The magazine “Vins de France”, describes his production as “the most marvellous discovery in the last five years in the world of Champagne récoltants-manipulants.”

    And, naturally, he collects medals: gold and silver in the Amphore 2000 competition, and many others. Going against current trends, Jacques Beaufort even makes demi-sec champagne, a unique experience which seduces even those who don’t like sweet wines.

    Dulcis in fundo, the Botte Piccola takes you to visit the Maison Bedel, totally converted to biodynamic methods since 1999.

    All the production processes of the pétillan wine take place within the Maison, respecting traditional methods. From the crushing of the grapes, to the aging of the wine in the cellars, to the remuage of the bottles carried out by hand, everything happens according to age-old production methods.

    The Maisons chosen for this French experience produce exciting wines, fruit of farming methods which have all but disappeared and of a wine-making philosophy based on the least possible interference.

    This trip costs 1,200 euro per person for a group of six participants and 1,700 euro per person for two participants.

    If you don’t require a chauffeur driven car, the trip costs 850 euro per person.

    Option inclusive of only hotel and visits costs 360 euros per person.

    The trip includes:

    Flight Milan/Rome to Paris

    Double room

    Wine tasting at 4 producers

    All transfers, in the option including a car with driver

    For further information and any changes to the programme, please contact:

    Carolina Salini

    info@labottepiccola.net