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the Degree Confluence Project
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France : Champagne-Ardenne

2.2 km (1.4 miles) NNE of Cramant, Marne, Champagne-Ardenne, France
Approx. altitude: 212 m (695 ft)
([?] maps: Google MapQuest Multimap world confnav)
Antipode: 49°S 176°W

Click on any of the images for the full-sized picture.

#2: Juline looking for a confluence #3: Chardonnay vineyards, the Marne Valley, Epernay #4: Marianne, Guy, Juline, Marie-Claude and Michèle #5: The view: vineyards, Chouilly, Epernay

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  49°N 4°E (visit #1)  

#1: That's the confluence in the far right

(visited by Michel Deschuyteneer, Michèle Depret, Marianne Deschuyteneer, Guy Gosselin, Marie-Claude Deschuyteneer and Juline Deschuyteneer)

12-Aug-2000 -- A confluence with bubbles.

Just a year ago, Michèle and I had visited Reims scouting for a good spot to watch the total eclipse of the sun in August. We wanted to come back and pay tribute to Dom Perignon, great benefactor to mankind for inventing the process turning white wine into champagne. The project became even more interesting when we found that a confluence awaited our visit just outside Epernay, the capital city of the Champagne wine growing region.

Meanwhile, the DCP was becoming famous in my family. I guess that combining the promise of a visit to some wine cellar and worldwide celebrity through confluence hunting proved irresistible. So, my sisters Marie-Claude, and her daughter Juline, and Marianne, with her boyfriend Guy, joined the party.

We left Brussels at dawn. The weather was perfect. We reached Epernay by late morning and proceeded to a place recommended by my parents. A warm welcome, an interesting visit and a glass of champagne at the Emile Leclere cellar put us in an excellent mood to proceed to confluence hunting. We first reached Cramant, 6 Km SE of Epernay from where we found a little farm road to take us up the hill where we would eventually find the confluence. We stopped on a shady spot with a beautiful view of the surrounding vineyards to have lunch.

Coached by Michèle, seasoned confluence hunter, Juline lead the team towards the Grail. As the pleasant walk on the side of the hill proceeded, everyone had one's fun with the "GPS dance", particularly since the last digits kept flickering. Marianne found the closest fix where I immortalized the group surrounding a special champagne bottle we used to mark the spot -- and would eventually drink to celebrate the occasion!

The confluence is on the corner of a recently cleared and freshly plowed patch of land. No doubt it will be full of vines when the next visitor comes. The area is known as "Cote des Blancs" where is grown only Chardonnay, the cornerstone of the champagne wines. Being close to the top of a hill, the view on the surrounding countryside and the Marne valley was absolutely wonderful. In the pictures, we see Epernay in the distance with the quaint village of Chouilly in the foreground. We enjoyed the scenery for a while.

After visiting Epernay some more, we ended the day with an excellent dinner in Rocroi, an old fortified city near the Belgian border.

So we returned to Brussels with nice memories - and extra weight in the trunk (guess what?!)


 All pictures
#1: That's the confluence in the far right
#2: Juline looking for a confluence
#3: Chardonnay vineyards, the Marne Valley, Epernay
#4: Marianne, Guy, Juline, Marie-Claude and Michèle
#5: The view: vineyards, Chouilly, Epernay
#6: Why we came in the first place!
ALL: All pictures on one page (broadband access recommended)