27 April 2019

Weekend Cooking: A Year in Champagne (Film)

Review of A Year in Champagne directed by David KennardA few years ago, I reviewed David Kennard's A Year in Burgundy, which introduced us to the region's winemakers and what it takes to grow wine in that part of France.

The second documentary in Kennard's series is A Year in Champagne (2014; currently available via one of your streaming services). As in the first film, Kennard takes us to a variety of vineyards in the Champagne region, where we visit family-owned estates, big-business growers, and wine producers.

The documentary starts in April, when the vines just start budding and ends in late winter, after the winemakers have bottled their wines for the year. Although I didn't find this film as engaging as Kennard's look at Burgundy, I still enjoyed it.

As several people in A Year in Champagne note, what's a celebration without champagne? What's more, it's perfect all day long, from breakfast to past midnight. I'll start with some of the interesting things I learned:

  • During the fermentation, champagne bottles need to be rotated an eighth turn every single day.
  • Throughout history, the British connection--especially from the royal family--has very important to the development of champagne as a quality wine.
  • There are hundreds of miles of cellars in the Champagne region.
  • The Champagne growers association has an incredible amount of rules and regulations for everything from pruning the vines to exactly when the grapes can be harvested.
The Champagne region is the northernmost wine-growing region in France, and the climate can be brutal for the grapes. The documentary was filmed in 2012, which was a year of cool temperatures and little sun. Despite that, there was a harvest, and champagne was bottled.

Unlike Kennard's first film, almost all of this movie required subtitles. I don't mind subtitles, but sometimes I find myself doing more reading than looking at the images on the screen. In addition, I didn't connect as strongly with Champagne winemakers as I did with the Burgundy families.

In any case, I'm glad I watched A Year in Champagne, and I hope David Kennard continues the series, so I can learn more about wine making in France. Here is the trailer.

Note that I'll be at a lacemaking workshop all weekend, but will visit your blogs just as soon as I can.
Weekend Cooking hosted by www.BethFishReads.comWeekend Cooking is open to anyone who has any kind of food-related post to share: Book reviews (novel, nonfiction), cookbook reviews, movie reviews, recipes, random thoughts, gadgets, quotations, photographs, restaurant reviews, travel information, or fun food facts. If your post is even vaguely foodie, feel free to grab the button and link up anytime over the weekend. You do not have to post on the weekend. Please link to your specific post, not your blog's home page.

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Mae Travels 4/27/19, 7:17 AM  

Books and films about winemaking in France are usually very fascinating -- too bad this one wasn't quite up to your standards. My favorite is "Champagne: How the World's Most Glamorous Wine Triumphed Over War and Hard Times," published 2005, by Don and Petie Kladstrup -- it would probably be a great companion to the film you reviewed.

best... mae at maefood.blogspot.com

gluten Free A_Z Blog 4/27/19, 7:32 AM  

Such an interesting post. I never thought much about the work that goes into making champagne . thanks

bermudaonion 4/27/19, 7:45 AM  

I get distracted by subtitles but I do love the subject matter of this film.

Tina 4/27/19, 7:54 AM  

I’ve read about the work that goes into champagne and how it was discovered accidentally, but a documentary would be interesting for me as well. I’ll see if our library has this one.

On a side note, thanks to our grocery stores having great sales for Passover and Easter, champagnes and wines were such a good price that we stocked our cooler. Champagne goes with everything!

Jackie McGuinness 4/27/19, 7:58 AM  

Enjoy your lacemaking weekend!

Deb in Hawaii 4/27/19, 11:47 AM  

I hope you post some photos of your work in progress this weekend on Instagram and such. ;-) The movie does sound interesting but like you, I do have a hard time staying focused on subtitles at times.

Vicki 4/27/19, 1:03 PM  

I watch documentaries etc. with subtitles but I do like watching ones without them since I do miss a lot of the action on the screen.

(Diane) bookchickdi 4/28/19, 9:01 AM  

Ooh, I love champagne! I'm going to have to check this one out.

Claire @ Book Lovers Pizza 4/29/19, 9:25 AM  

Very interesting. I feel like I have studied wine making quite a bit but don't know as much about champagne. I am currently trying to find more good stuff to watch so I am very intrigued to check with one (and the one on Burgundy) out!

shelleyrae @ book'd out 4/30/19, 11:56 AM  

I’ve never developed a taste for Champagne I must admit,

Have a great week in the kitchen :)

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