La dégustation de champagne / Champagne tasting|Sarena Ehrlich|KnowLedge World Network|Activities|KNOWLEDGE CAPITAL

  • 2015.11.13
  • La dégustation de champagne / Champagne tasting
France consists of 22 regions, 96 departments, 335 arrondissements and over 2000 cantons. It is a spiraling confusion of bureaucracy for an outsider, which is just a testament to its historical evolution. Somewhere within this breakdown Fontainebleau is situated in the region of Ile-de-France (the same region as Paris), with our convenient neighbor being Champagne-Ardenne (the region which has received special AOC for its sparkling wine.

The Champagne countryside with remnants of its history.

Of course being a good neighbor, it is only appropriate to introduce myself. So on a lazy Saturday afternoon, after a morning full of classes, I packed a small mini-van with fellow students and headed on a day of exploration. Thankfully for everyone’s sake I wasn’t doing the driving, and after a long country ride we arrived at the quaint Canard-Duchêne champagne house.

Canard-Duchene Champagne House.

Our well versed guide through the tour.

Starved but with no time for eating, we focused on the task at hand and went straight onto the tour. Canard-Duchêne is a perfect introduction to the region and its history. We learned all about the delicate touch needed to produce the liquid gold and the temperamental nature of champagne as a product; passion is foremost required in the industry.

A traditional grape press representing the meeting of barrel maker Victor Canard and winemaker Léonie Duchêne.

From wandering in their almost 150-year-old cellars we ascended to a tasting to test what we had learned and of course how can you leave Champagne without Champagne.

Wandering through the cavernous cellars lined with champagne.

Needless to say we didn’t leave empty handed, but after classes and champagne, lunch was at the top of the agenda. Problem is is that when you’re in the country sides of France, no matter how beautiful it is, if you miss lunch time your options are slim to none and a car full of hungry students is never a good scene. Solution: time to raid the supermarket. With supplies in hand (literally) we drove off-road to an abandoned pocket of field and picnicked in true French style on the edge of the forest. Baguette, meats, cheeses and of course Champagne. What was initially a mad rush to fill our hunger pains ended up being an amazing lunch only elevated by the company. The sun set on Champagne as we stared in awe of the beauty of the landscape around us. It’s as if France has not been touched by time.

Out of the forest and onto the fields.

Sunset over Champagne.

The day proved to be much longer than any of us had anticipated when we arrived home late into the evening, but it just proved to me how much France has to offer in every little corner and that with the right company any drive can become a memorable adventure with new friends.


  • Sarena Ehrlich
  • AgeDragon( TATU )
  • GenderFemale
  • JobMBA Student

Sarena is an explorer constantly on the move – living on 5 continents and 11 countries later she has landed in the village of Fontainebleau, France where she is currently pursuing an MBA. She is passionate about embracing diversity and holds a perpetual curiosity for discovering new cultures. With okonomiyaki in one hand and tayaki in the other, Sarena has previously lived in Osaka and Nagoya, eating her way through Japan. She is now learning the art of enjoying daily life from the French.

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