Friday, April 24, 2009
Hautvillers is up.
It all started with a dream... Well that's what the Hautvillers website says. Bishop St Nivard founded the Benedictine Abbey St. Peter of Hautvillers in 650 because god told him to follow a dove in a dream. The next day he got up and there was a dove. That dove led him to Hautvillers.
Dom Perignon arrived in Hautvillers in 1658 and is alleged to have discovered the Champagne method. It was in the village basilica that Dom Perignon performed his miracle and discovered how to make still wine sparkling by the méthode champenoise. He also introduced the use of cork stoppers (tied down to stop them from popping out as pressure built up in the bottles) and blended different wines from around the region to form a wine with a superior character than that produced by a single vineyard. The abbey is now owned by Möet et Chandon.
There are over 140 wrought iron signs in Hautvillers. Originally created for the uneducated to be able to what activity was going on in each building, they now take on a more story telling function. I wonder what my sign would look like...?
I think this sign says I can pass the drunk balance walking test after two bottles of champagne.
What is funny is that we did not make the plan to go to Hautvillers. And yet at the last minute, Lyle turned the wheel sharply and up we went. We had no idea this was the final resting place of Dom Perignon. But I have a theory. I believe that Lyle has consumed so much Dom Perignon Champagne in his life that the elements of the earth called to him and ordered his body to home.