For over ten years G.H. Mumm has been providing the podium champagne to the Formula 1. While the drivers spray and drink champagne in their victory, how did it all get there and what does this bottle of bubbles involve?
Over 218 hectares of land in Champagne, France (yes, champagne comes from a place with the same name) grows the finest grapes to eventually go into your glass. Over 1000 grape pickers are brought in around the end of September to hand-pick the grapes from the vines. After picking the grapes are carefully transported a short distance for pressing, the grapes are treated with care to ensure they do not arrive damaged. After pressing the grapes and juice are stored in vats for 18 hours to help separate the liquid from the soil, pips and remaining skin. From here the liquid moves onto the vinification phase. This involves a further two weeks in vats for fermentation, transferred to another vat for clarifying before moving onto the blending phase. It is worth noting that up until now the wine is still “still” and not “sparkling” yet.
It is during the bottle fermentation process that the wine transforms and comes to life as the champagne we know. Over the period of a month the bottled champagne ferments, begins to build its bubbles and the alcohol in the wine builds to 12%. These bottles are stored underground in a 25km gallery among 25 million bottles of champagne. The Cordon Rouge range of G.H.Mumm is kept for two and a half years before graduating for purchase – or to a Formula 1 Grand Prix.
The G.H.Mumm range of champagne comes in eight different sizes, ranging from 200ml to a massive 15 litres. The bottle used on the podium at a Formula 1 race, such as we’ll see in Singapore is the 3 litre “Jeroboam” worth $300 each. That is a pretty penny to be sprayed around!
While we aren’t all able to live the life of an F1 driver, the great thing is that we are all able to celebrate with the same champagne that they do, and that is something I will raise a glass to.
Geoff travelled to Singapore for EFTM as a guest of G.H.Mumm