Caveau

A personally culled collection of the best of Burgundy & Grower Champagne, delivered to your door.

Caveau Selections -  from winemaker-importer Scott Paul Wright. We're specialists in the best of Burgundy and Grower Champagne, delivered to your door. Join our mailing list, sign-up for our Burgundy and Champagne Clubs, and take advantage of our exclusive pre-arrival offers. Start drinking hand-selected wines from the top artisanal producers at direct-import prices!

Champagne tour #1 is in the books...

Out first ever Insider's Tour of Champagne has just wrapped up, and by all accounts it was a smashing success. The best part is seeing the light-bulbs go off as our customers really start to understand how Champagne works - not only the complexities of the production process but the influence of terroir and the vast array of styles as well. That and the close relationships we have with our producers, which is the basis for everything we do both here and in Burgundy.

After in-depth tastings at eight of our top small grower-producers, I took the group yesterday to the famed Avenue de Champagne in Épernay for a tour of Champagne's 600-lb gorilla, Moët et Chandon (or as one of our guests deemed it - "the Big-Box store"!) With 17 miles of caves under the streets and tens of millions of bottles in the cellar, it is literally worlds apart from the tiny 1,000-5,000 case producers that we work with. The tour at Moët is more like a Disney ride than a winery visit, but entertaining nonetheless. I must say that I have never had to pass through metal detectors and been searched at any other winery - that was rather unexpected to say the least. At the end of the guided tour we were directed to "exit through the gift shop" - where one can pick up a Moët et Chandon umbrella for only 180 Euros, or a bottle of 1971 Dom Perignon for a few thousand...

In the cellars at Moët, beneath the streets of Épernay

In the cellars at Moët, beneath the streets of Épernay

Back in the real world, we were blessed with a spectacular sunny and 75-degree day, and we enjoyed a great lunch on the terrace at La Banque, a reliably good bistro in the center of Épernay. The veal burger with foie gras sauce is killer, as was the gorgeous afternoon.

Guests (not in our group) enjoying the sun and some Brut Rosé on the deck at La Banque

Guests (not in our group) enjoying the sun and some Brut Rosé on the deck at La Banque

I took the crew to the best Grower-Champagne wine shop on the planet "520" - a brilliant play on words. In French the words for five hundred-twenty - Cinq Cents Vingt - sound exactly like the words for Five Hundred Wines - Cinq Cent Vins. They've got the best selection of grower juice anywhere, and all of our crew picked up a few bottles of rare goodies that will never be found in the US.

We topped off the afternoon by dropping in to the Janisson-Baradon tasting room in Épernay, where my friend Cyril Janisson is pouring some killer wines and drawing great crowds. One wall of the tasting room is covered with blown up vintage photos going back through five generations of the Janisson-Baradon family - very cool stuff...

The last night of the tour the group is on their own for dinner, so everybody scattered across Épernay to wine and dine one more time before taking off on their journeys back home or elsewhere in Europe. We'll do the same tour again next week with another group of customers coming over from Virginia. Louisiana, Oregon and California starting on Wednesday morning. In the meantime I'm happy to give my liver and digestive system a little rest!

Oh Mon Dieu! The cheese cart at l'Assiette Champenoise...

Oh Mon Dieu! The cheese cart at l'Assiette Champenoise...