CENZUB is conveniently located in the Champagne region of France. Only a 40-minute coach journey separated C Company from Reims, home to one of Frances oldest and most prestigious Champagne houses, Champagne Lanson.
A vast majority of the Company cathedral and variety of boulangeries, followed by a private tour of Lanson, culminating in an evening of cultural and culinary exploration. On entry, there were various kinds of champagne on display, with bottles so well decorated and preserved we could not stop ourselves taking pictures for the memories! The oldest Champagne was from 1904. A tour guide led our visit and explained the history. There was an internal vineyard where we saw the grapes from two different seasons for the continuous production of champagnes. We were lucky as the harvest was going on and the weather was in our favour, so we were also treated to some lovely views of Reims.
Next, we entered the production area built into the chalk ridgeline where the process of Champagne fermentation was ongoing inside hundreds of huge barrels. For me, it was a totally new experience, I was not the only surprised and intrigued member of C Company however. After that, we were taken to the underground storage area; over 7km of tunnels and caves where 200 million bottles were preserved. Those bottles of Champagne were categorised according to their quality and age. Lastly, we went for the tasting phase of the trip, having never tried Champagne before, I was very excited. We tried two delectable varieties.
By Lieutenant Tom Moore and Rifleman Manoj Gurung, The First Battalion, The Royal Gurkha Rifles