This month's flashest tasting at Regional Wines is a fizz fest' of great bubbles from Champagne Ayala, to be held on Monday 29 April in our upstairs tasting room from 6pm to 8pm.
Champagne Ayala is based in Aÿ, a village in the Champagne region. It was founded in 1860 by Edmond de Ayala, who had settled in Aÿ to learn about winemaking. In its early days, Champagne Ayala expanded rapidly, in large part due to Edmond's London-based brother, Fernand de Ayala, who used his contacts in London to introduce Ayala to British aristocracy.
The wine gained success in the British market quickly, not least because Ayala has always been noted, even in those days, for its relatively low dosage. This means that Ayala champagnes tend to err on the side of dryness, which gave them a positive point of difference and the perception of being leaders of style.
But it hasn't all be smooth sailing. Riots in the Champagne region in 1911 saw the house destroyed.
The riots were due to fraud following the phylloxera epidemic, which wiped out four fifths of the region's vineyards, reducing the entire planted vineyard area from 60,000 hectares down to 12,000. This led to disagreement in Champagne about where the boundaries of the region should be. Rioters were held back by soldiers in many areas, but the village of Ay did not fare well and Champagne Ayala's house was destroyed.
So the current production facilities and offices are art deco in style following their rebuild in 1913 with design by a local architect called Demay. One thing that wasn't destroyed was the two kilometres of caves underneath the champagne house. This extensive network of temperature stable caves are home to almost 2.5 million bottles, slowly maturing in the centuries-old cellars dug out of Aÿ’s chalky hillsides.
Today, Champagne Ayala has another new lease of life.
It is owned by Champagne Bollinger, another high quality focussed champagne house.
Come along and find out what Ayala is all about at our tasting on Monday 29 April. Here's the lineup...
- Champagne Ayala, Brut Majeur NV
- Champagne Ayala, Brut Rose Majeur NV
- Champagne Ayala, Brut Nature NV
- Champagne Ayala, Blanc de Blanc 2012
- Champagne Ayala, Cuvée Perle d'Ayala 2006
Book your spot here
Bookings are essential for this great value tasting of Champagne Ayala.