Happy Birthday Dad!!!!!
Mom’s going to have a bottle of champagne for you!!
Wow, some of these bottles are kind of big. What’s a Nebuchednezzar?
The Schlumberger house of champagne started in Austria over 300 years ago. We were lucky to find they are still operating today, and offer audio tours in English.
The tour took us deep under the ground, through stone archways and over deep underground rivers, where we learned about the sparkling wine that has been produced in Austria for centuries. Back when Schlumberger started it was still allowed to be called champagne, but after France outlawed anything outside of Champagne to use that label, the name of the wine changed to Sekt. The winery has gone on to become a respected regional producer of sparkling wine. Even with the name Schlumberger.
In the cellars we saw thousands of bottles, nestled into rough wooden racks and hand-turned every day by a man whose job it is to “riddle,” or turn the champagne. We met him, he was really nice. He explained how the bottles are stored upside down so the yeast can settle in the neck. Then the bottles are frozen, which creates pressure so that the plug of yeast sediment gets shot out of the bottle. The bubbles happen later, just before putting in the cork.
This is a fountain deep below the earth that pees wine.
Okay. It might as well pee wine, right? As you might imagine, this triggered a few other jokes.
After our tour, we were given a grand tasting of five different types of champagne. Five glasses each! That sure is a nice way to start happy hour…
It was lovely to be sitting in a wine cellar on a Wednesday afternoon, sipping champagne far away from the sub-zero temperatures that we knew were waiting outside. And the best part is that the champagne was good! We had to hurry a little bit toward the end though, because the kids were waiting for us up at the school and we had a date with some schnitzel for dinner.
Schnitzel, gruner vetliner, beer, big piles of kraut. Eli ordered a huge plate of ribs.
Our champagne-fueled appetites ensured there was nothing left of our dinner!
Happy Birthday Dad, we love you!