Chateau Gayot
Chateau Gayot Wines
Olive Oil Where to Buy Distributors Novus 1

The Story of Cuvée des Etoiles
Vieux Champagne
By Alain Gayot

Vieux Champagne is a hamlet six miles from Provins on the fringes of the Champagne Appellation Region where I learned to make sparkling wine from apples at age 9. The story of this area of France begins with the dawn of humanity. At this crossroads men treading the plains of Europe have settled, built, planted, traded, fought and loved since the begining of ages, confronting—and, it seems, finally merging—their differences, leaving an incomparable civilization. In this fabulous ongoing saga, the most touching episode relates to the Counts of Champagne and in particular to Thibault IV, who got his name from Saint Thibault, born in 1017 and raised in Provins. Saint Thibault is credited for numerous miracles before and after his death.

Thibault IV was a splendid prince who, at a point, was not far from stepping on the throne of France, and also a Renaissance man before the Renaissance. He led the Sixth Crusade, saved his city of Provins from many invaders, entered himself into jousts against the invaders and was crowned King of Navarre. When this fiery fighter returned from the Crusade after a defeat in 1239 in Gaza, tired of the fighting and the killing, he revealed his hidden true nature by becoming a poet and composer of the first rank. Some of his songs and courtly verses were addressed to the then-Regent of France, Blanche of Castille.

We owe him more tham poems and music; he is the one who introduced into the Western world a lovely flower he had picked in Damascus which immediately gained a huge popularity and shows no sign of weakness even today: the rose. Futhermore, this artist and benefactor had the genius to bring in his bags, after a stopover in Cyprus, a plant that we will not soon forget: the Chardonnay vine. The history of Provins lives on today. Victor Hugo, Honoré de Balzac, and other famous writers have recounted the story of this charming place forte. You can even see actors Bob Hope and Fernandel cruise through its ramparts in the 1958 comedy "Paris Holiday." The medieval city of Provins—an hour away from Paris—is well worth a visit.

I cannot guarantee a miracle, but if you blink when sipping this very special beverage you may catch in its dancing bubbles a glimpse of the splendors of the court of Provins, and capture the notes of an enamored minstrel. This Cuvée with its root in the past is dedicated to the new millennium and respectfully pays tribute to a—we hope—eternal culture.

Home / Restaurants / Hotels / Travel / Lifestyle / Events / Wine / Community / About Us / Shop / Site News

Copyright © 2000-2010 GAYOT ® All Rights Reserved; Privacy Policy; Disclaimer GAYOT (pronounced guy-OH)