to Nancy. EPERNAY. 19. Route. 1 39
78 M. Port-à-Binson. Near (84 M.) Damery-Boursault, the next
station, rises (to the right) the *Château of Boursault, in the Renais¬
sance style, now the property of the Duchesse d'Uzès.
88 M. Epernay. — Hotels. De l'Eorope, Rue Porte-Lucas; de
Paris, Place Auban-Moët, pens. 7'/2 fr.; Hôt.-Rest. de la Gare, Place
Thiers. — Cafés. De Paris, Rue Porte-Lucas ; Sparnacien, Place Thiers; etc.
— "Buffet at the station.
Epernay, the Sparnacum of antiquity, a town with 19,377 inhab.,
prettily situated on the left bank of the Marne, is one of the centres
of the champagne-trade. The handsome houses in the suburb of
La Folie, on the E., close to which the train passes as it quits the
town, afford some indication of the lucrative nature of the local
industry. Either hère or at Rheims (p. 122) a visit should be paid
to one of the vast Cellars of the champagne-makers, consisting of long
galleries, hewnin the chalk rock, containing hundreds of thousands
of bottles and admirably adapted for the numerous délicate opéra¬
tions necessary for the production of the wine.
Champagne is said to hâve been invented at the beginning of last
century. Its distinguishing quality of effervescence is due to the fact that its
fermentation is arrested and recommences on fresh contact with the air.
The wine may be made either from black or white grapes; but the pro-
duct of the former contains more spirit and 'creams' rather than foams,
while that of the latter is distinguished by its fine transparency and by
active effervescence. The must produced by pressing the grapes is first
placed in casks until it has deposited its lees. The liquid is then drawn
off about the middle of December and fined by the addition of tannine
and aluni. Three months or so later it is again drawn off and put into
bottles, where a second fermentation is induced by the addition of a
liqueur containing sugar-candy and brandy. The bottles are made of very
strong and thick glass, weighing 25-30 oz. each, but nevertheless many of
them break during the fermentation. As the fermentation goes on, it be¬
comes necessary to reduce the température by removing the bottles to a
coder cellar. The sédiment resulting from this second fermentation is
collected, in the second year, in the neeks of the bottles by placing them in
racks head downward, and is then got rid of by a process called 'disgorging'
('dégorger'), in which the cork is allowed to fly out. The bottles are then
filled up with fined wine and liqueur, and the Champagne is ready for sale.
From Epernay to La Fère-Champenoise (Romilly), 25'/2 M., railway
in l'/4 hr. (fares 4 fr. 60, 3 fr. 10 c, 2 fr.). — This line diverges to the
right from the Strassburg railway at (4'/2 M.) Oiry-Mareuil, and traverses
a wine-growing district, via (8'/2 M.) Avize and (14 M.) Vertus. — 25'/2 M.
La Fère-Champenoise is also a station on the line from Paris to Vitry-le-
François (p. 292), from which there diverges, at Sézanne, G M. to the W.,
a branch to Romilly (p. 295).
From Epernay to Rheims (Mézières; Metz), see p. 117.
92 M. Oiry-Mareuil, see above. About 3 M. to the S. of (99 M.)
Jalons-les-Vignes, near the Château of Ecury at Champigneul, is a
very ancient heronry, occupied by the birds from Feb. to August.
107Y2 M. Chàlons-SUr-Marne. — Hotels. De la Haute-Mère-
Dieu (PI. a; C, 2), dd Renard (PL b; C, 2), Place de la République 26 & 24,
pens. 7'/2-8 fr. ; delà Cloche d'Or (Pl.c; D, 2), Rue St. Jacques 2, near Notre
Dame; du Chemin-de-Fer, near the station. — Restaurants. Albert, Rue
de Marne 85, déj. from f/2, D. 2 fr. ; Buffet at the station. — Cafés. Bourse,
Bellevue, etc., in the Place de la République; des Oiseaux, Rue de l'Hôtel-