Our Fantastic Adventure in Reims With G.H. Mumm

by James Stevenson

One of our fondest adventures of 2018 was the “Day in Reims” hosted by G.H. Mumm. It was a fast, yet fun-filled day spent learning about the history, process, and future of their prestigious Champagne. The day began with a quick train ride from Paris and as soon as we arrived in Reims we were escorted to Maison Mumm where all the magic truly happens. This is where we met with the team we would be spending the day with and everyone got to know each other over some fresh coffee before our guide, Giacomo took the lead and began the tour of the house.

It was really cool being able to walk through the halls of the Maison and our first stop was the large container room where all the wine is collected until it is ready to be blended and bottled. Each wine tub was huge and specifically marked with the field from which the liquid inside had been harvested, along with a date and a more scientific reading, which I could not discern. It is really cool to learn that Champagne, like many other blended alcohols, have someone with such an amazing palate that even with the differences in the liquid from harvest to harvest, can blend a perfect match to the original profile set by someone else, as well as predict future consumers palates and construct something they will enjoy years and even decades from the present moment.

It was really great to learn all about the company from someone who was so passionate and knowledgeable. We quickly descended the stairway that never seemed to end as we delved deeper into the underground cellars atop which the house was built and at the bottom were welcomed by a wonderful sight of endless bottles of G.H. Mumm. It was really beautiful to see all the bottles resting in their perspective racks allowing time to do its work in turning this delicious wine into the bubbly liquescent gold we refer to as Champagne.

We occasionally stopped along the tunnels to learn some more about the house and the product and I think one of the most common discussions between imbibers is the pronunciation of Mumm. You obviously can’t discern the way that I am saying it through my words as Mumm and Mumm look the same, and I’m probably doing it no justice with my accent. The main disconnect is that although the product is quite obviously French and many out there would pronounce it the French way it is, in fact, a company that was founded by 3 brothers with a lineage filled with winemakers from Cologne, Germany who moved to Champagne way back in 1827. So with this fact in mind, you may want to look up how to pronounce Mumm in German as that is the true way to enunciate the company name. I thought that was a cool bit of history.

We were not allowed, nor did we have the time, to explore all 15.5 miles (25km) of cellars beneath the estate, but instead, after taking in all that we could about the product we made our way back up to ground level and hopped on a bus which whisked us away to our wonderful lunch destination; Moulin de Verzenay.

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You may not be familiar with this restaurant located square in the middle of the Grande Champagne vineyards, and that is because this is a private space owned by Maison Mumm for special events and tastings. We spent the next few hours talking about G. H. Mumm and of course imbibing a little and sabering some bottles. After we had enjoyed our delicious lunch it was time to get amongst the vines and of course, we had to do it in style; queue the ATV’s. That’s right, we spent the better part of the hour riding around in the Grande Champagne vineyards on an ATV and occasionally stopped for photo opportunities and “secretly” plucking the grapes directly off the vines.

As the day was coming to an end we returned to the Maison, and the remainder of the day was spent enjoying G.H. Mumm while hanging out with inspiring likeminded people and dancing to the awesome live DJ set.

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