We had a wonderful time at our second wine society event with our special guest, wine and Champagne writer Caroline Henry. The Cave was Caroline's final stop on her tour of the United States. She is currently promoting her book Terrior Champagne and has travelled over 9,000 miles since she began her tour on July 9.
Caroline was born in Belgium, grew up in South Africa and got involved in the wine world in New Zealand, where she sold wine for 5 years. Caroline was fortunate enough to work for a very sustainable vineyard, and this bred her passion for the sustainable production of wines and, later, of terrior Champagne.
Caroline relocated to Champagne, France in 2011. She origionally intended to stay in the region for just 6 months, but she fell in love with the area and with terrior Champagne, specifically that which has been sustainably produced.
Caroline blew the crowd away with the amount of information that she knows about Champagne. She cited many facts not only about Champagne's production but also about its historical origins. For instance, Caroline explained that the reason that Champagne has historically been a luxury is because following the 16th century, France's kings were coronated in Reims, which is the unofficial capital of Champagne.
Caroline also explained to us that the region of Champagne actually has the smallest number of organic growers in all of France. Champagne had an implosion of herbacide use after World War II. This is because Champagne sales skyrocketed during this period, and herbacides were used as a means of keeping up with production demands. This is an issue that is near and dear to Caroline's heart as she advocates for all natural Champagne production. "Champagne speaks to so many people because it has had to change and innovate through time," explaied Henry. "This is why it is so essential that it be natural and without herbacides."
The guests loved the event. They learned all about Champagne and were able to ask Caroline questions between sips of Philipponnant and bites of appetizers from The Cave's kitchen. "Fries and champagne- my two favorite things!" exclaimed one guest. We loved having Caroline here and are looking forward to our next wine society!