June 2014. Our class visits the large Champagne house of Vranken-Pommery in Reims. It was founded in 1858 and owes much of its success to the widow Madame Louise Pommery.
The cellars are 100 feet or exactly 116 steps below the earth. Our tour guide educates us on the Champagne making process, she explains that the cellar conditions are perfect for storing Champagne. It is cold and dark, we are reminded to stick to the group or we could get lost in this underground world that stretches as far as 18 kilometers underneath the city.
Madame Lousie was a patron of the arts and commissioned artists to carve murals on the walls of the limestone and chalk pits called crayères. This made the tour very interesting, various contemporary art exhibits were also found in the different sections of the cellars.