Excellent Champagnes are produced by many families and companies, in this area of France. For a special occasion, indeed, what could be better than a glass (or two) of sparkling Champagne? Grape varieties, used for Champagne productions, include Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier. The Champagne region of France produces an abundance of superb grapes, for their splendid, finished products.

There are some very large companies producing Champagnes, plus other old and smaller, well-established ones, too. In my search for ‘something different’, I located several lesser-known family concerns, that produce excellent Champagnes. One award-winning producer, that particularly appeals to me, is Charles Gouthière et Fils. Located at Sauley, they have been harvesting grapes since 1824. From the early 1970’s their vineyards have become larger, spreading over several villages. Three types of Champagne grapes are grown and their excellent Champagnes are produced using the traditional method, which has very strict rules that must be adhered to. Their high-quality Champagnes are produced by incorporating a number of factors, which include climate, soils, vast knowledge and much love. Ageing also adds to the finished Champagne quality and this award-winning family company can be justifiably proud of the range of superb Champagnes they have to offer.

Cuvée de Réserve, is a blend of Pinot Noir, Pinot Meunier and Chardonnay grape varieties. A pleasant bouquet and a balanced, fresh palate sensation, with a good finish, makes this a very popular choice, for many. Cuvée Prestige, I found to be another excellent Champagne. With a wonderful mouthfeel, this well-balanced, fine production, will bring life to many occasions. Blanc de Blancs, produced using 100% Chardonnay grapes, is excellent for those who enjoy the chardonnay sensation. Rosé Grande Réserve, gives that ‘extra something’ – particularly for al fresco dining – to many occasions. Using Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier grapes, the bouquet leads perfectly to a fresh palate, with a good, lengthy finish.

These are just some selections from the Charles Gouthière et Fils Champagnes, which I am most pleased to have found. Their range of exceptional Champagnes, including the vintages, has something for all palates. Take pleasure in locating your favourites.