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G.H. Mumm Champagne
by
Kathy and Terry Sullivan

G.H. Mumm ChampagneSummary: Visitors to G.H. Mumm Champagne in Reims, France will enjoy a delightful visit to a visitor’s center and large caves of chalk and limestone. After the tour, visitors receive a glass of Champagne.

The G.H. Mumm Champagne tour began with a video that noted that a German family by the name of Mumm founded the winery. However, the Mumm family has not been associated with the winery since World War II.

Vineyards

The vineyards are spread throughout the Champagne wine region and cover almost 218 hectares (538 acres). These 218 hectares only meet a quarter of G.H. Mumm’s production needs. The remaining 75 percent of grapes needed to make the champagnes are sourced from growers in the Champagne area. G.H. Mumm has established strong relationships with these growers, often spanning several generations.

Pinot Noir is the predominant grape planted in the vineyards accounting for 28 percent of the vines. Chardonnay and Pinot Meunier account for the other vineyard plantings. The vineyards are located in 319 communes of which 17 villages are designated Grand Crus and 42 villages are Premier Crus. The remaining 260 villages are Crus. When grouped as vineyard area, 160 hectares are classified as Grand Crus.

Grapes can only be hand harvested. When grapes are harvested they are sent to one of seven centers for pressing. Even grapes sourced from other growers are hand harvested, carefully handled and sent to a pressing center. The grapes are divided by variety and the cru they are from. There is gentle handling of the grapes and the juice that is pressed. The juice is sent to the winery for fermenting.

The Winery

The juice received from the press centers is fermented individually by grape variety and cru at the winery. After the cuvees are made, the cellar master decides if there is going to be a vintage or non-vintage produced with the cuvees. He makes all of the decisions. Three enologists help him. The cellar master also determines how long the bottles age. Mumm lets the bottles age longer than the years required by French law, with a minimum of three years up to seven years.
Aging, riddling, disgorging, adding the dosage and bottling take place at the winery. 

G.H. Mumm ChampagneCaves

The chalk caves are 14 meters (46 feet) deep to the bottom with the first level at 7 meters deep (23 feet). The chalk caves control the temperature and the humidity.

G.H. Mumm ChampagneDuring the tour, our guide noted the hard job of the riddlers. Often riddlers who riddled about 45,000 bottles daily had to have operations on their arms. Now the winery uses gyroplates to mechanically riddle the bottles. The gyroplates were not observable on our tour.

 

Museum

In one of the long caves, Mumm has an extensive museum of equipment with short but adequate descriptions of each piece of winery machinery. Explanations are in French and English. The description card also shows a drawing of the artifact and a drawing of the artifact being used. It is interesting to note the many different pieces of equipment used over the years. You can observe wine pumps, weighing machines, disgorgement casks, corking machines, dosage machines and many others.

G.H. Mumm Champagne     G.H. Mumm Champagne

G.H. Mumm ChampagneG.H. Mumm ChampagneChampagnes

The Brut Champagne was a dark straw color with nuances of bread. Many towers of small bubbles rose to the top of the liquid gold. The Champagne had apple notes with hints of citrus.

Le Demi-Sec offered small bubbles. This Champagne with 12 percent alcohol was a pale straw color. This full-bodied wine offered apple and pear notes with peach hints. It was interesting to note that the back label had the words “contains sulfites” in 17 different languages.

There are many Champagne houses in Reims. G.H. Mumm Champagne has a tour of the caves below the production area.

G.H. Mumm Champagne
34 rue du Champs de Mars
51100 REIMS, France

0033 326 495 970


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