The Romans planted vines in Champagne in 57BC but this was not initially an important wine area. Come taste the king of wine and discover the gastronomy of the Champagne-Ardenne region . Champagne: 9 Reasons to Visit this Region in France This week, I had the unique opportunity to attend the Nuit de Champagne which took place at the Residence of France in Beverly Hills. Getting there via train is actually very easy and quick. And, if you book ahead you can book a champagne and chocolate pairing! Read the Fodor's reviews, or … Find out more. But let's go back to the beginning and focus on the wine. Displays help visitors untangle such complicated mid-20th-century events as the Algerian war and the creation of the Fifth Republic, and consider the ways in which De Gaulle’s years in power (1958–69) affected French culture, style and economic growth. I have been lucky once or twice, walking into a champagne house and being able to join a tour immediately, but generally that doesn’t happen. Before visiting the Champagne Region, we advise you to book a Champagne Tour & Tasting in advance because availabilities are often limited. A half-day champagne tour, visiting 2 small producers. More information. Only sparkling wines that are from the region of Champagne are allowed to be called “Champagne AOC”. No part of this site may be reproduced without our written permission. The interior is a rainbow of stained-glass windows; the finest are the western facade’s great rose window, the north transept's rose window and the vivid Marc Chagall creations (1974) in the central axial chapel. Reims is the largest city in the region and Epernay is the town with the famous ‘Champagne Avenue’ (Avenue de Champagne). More information # Have a great time in Champagne Whether you are a city dweller, a couple or friends, there is something for every taste in Champagne . (In France, the legal age to drink wine and beer is 16, for spirits and liquor it's 18.) I have stayed in both Reims and Epernay and really enjoyed both. Mercier takes you on a train through their cellars, which is a fun experience! You’ll find famous champagne houses here to visit, but also museums, nightlife, etc. With the Pass'Alsace, get free admission and loads of benefits at more than 50 iconic sites and places to visit. I would say you need two full days to experience the highlights of the Champagne region. Owner of marketing company A to Z Marketing. Champagne has five main regions, or zones. They offer a great tour showing you not only their cellars and vineyard but also all of the machinery they use. Fr En Côte des Bar. It does get cold by then though. Some of the smaller, owner-operated champagne producers might be so busy with the harvest that their options for tours are limited around this time. Wine tourism (sometimes oenotourism or vinitourism) is specifically designed for people who want to explore wine regions and get to know the local wines. There is a small airport at Reims (Reims-Champagne Airport) and another in Troyes, and both cities have rail access. The fall harvest begins in late September and that’s when the champagne houses are at their busiest, both on the production side and the tourism side. The imagination and the intellect are engaged as Champagne cellar visits reveal the magical processes – governed by the strictest of rules – that transform the world’s most pampered pinot noir, pinot meunier and chardonnay grapes into this Unesco World Heritage–listed region’s most fabled wines. This makes combining a visit to the Champagne region with a few days in Paris a perfect option! Some links on this website are affiliate links. Champagne Bollinger - Maison Fondée en 1829 Since 1829, Bollinger has been producing great champagnes with a powerful, sophisticated and complex style. Assembled by a family that has been making Champagne since 1872, this extraordinary collection of century-old Champagne-making equipment includes objects so aesthetically ravishing that you’ll want to reach out and touch them. The haunted-looking Château Perrier, a red-brick mansion built in 1854 in neo–Louis XIII style, is aptly placed at number 13! The two most obvious places to stay when visiting Champagne are Reims and Epernay. This museum is so outstanding that it’s worth planning your day around a two-hour tour. All rights reserved. There is an €8 charge for the tour, but it is worth it. This way you have one day to visit a couple of the main champagne houses and one day to either drive to or go on an organized tour to visit some of the smaller houses in the countryside. Côte de Sézanne. If you have a slightly bigger budget then check out Domaine du Chalet, which is a beautiful hotel with a pool and spa, within walking distance from several champagne houses. It’s a medium-sized champagne producer in a beautiful setting and with good tours. And lastly, Pierson-Cuvelier also comes highly recommended. My favorite family-run champagne producer is Bonnet-Ponson. This 100km route, planted almost exclusively with white chardonnay grapes (the name means ‘hillside of the whites’), begins along Épernay’s majestic av de Champagne and then heads south to Sézanne and beyond. With the Reims City Pass, visit Reims and the Champagne vineyards in 24, 48 ou 72h and get free entries and discounts ! This also gives you enough time to explore Reims or Epernay, soak up the French atmosphere, and enjoy the food. Both have a train station and can therefore be reached relatively easily by public transport. The site affords breathtaking, sublime views of the Haute-Marne countryside. Of course, visiting the famous brands might give you some bragging rights, but in the end, I enjoyed visiting the smaller producers more. Generally you pay a fee, which includes a tasting at the end of the tour for those of legal age to drink alcoholic beverages. Perhaps loveliest of all is the studio garden, particularly in spring to early summer when it bursts forth with tulips, anemones and roses. The gently rolling landscape is at its most attractive in late summer and autumn. Although the main things to do when visiting champagne are visiting champagne houses and tasting champagne, of course there are other things to do here as well. One – Decide which Champagne houses you want to visit. I highly recommend booking any cellar tours ahead of time. ©Max Coquard - Best Jobers. The Champagne region of France is less than 100 miles east of Paris and is made up of the Aube, Marne, Haute-Marne, and Ardennes departments. Located due Northeast of Paris, this small region produces what may be considered the most renowned and recognizable wine in the world. Champagne Salmon is another great option. The Champagne region of France is a year-round destination, however, it is at its prettiest and best during the months of May to October when the vineyards are lush. To help out anyone else who might be keen to explore the area, here are our do-it-yourself suggestions for visiting the Champagne region of France. ☞ READ MORE: Easy Guide to the French Wines Many champagne houses close for lunch and almost all close relatively early in the afternoon. Stay in Reims to explore the Montagne de Reims, which focuses on pinot noir. Bring a sweater, and wear comfortable shoes because you’ll walk a lot and the floors can be uneven. Defined by a law dating from 1927, the area eligible to produce origin-approved (AOC) authentic champagne covers 34,000 hectares. The Pinot Noir dominates the landscape. For a more high-end hotel option in Reims Les Berceaux de la Cathedrale is a gorgeous place right in the city center. If you are looking to avoid the crowds, November can also be a good month to visit the champagne region. Meet a wine grower, visit the Cathedral of Reims and a prestigious champagne cellar. If you have a car you can drive into the countryside to visit these champagne houses yourself, but otherwise there are also organized tours you can join. It’s a great way to get away from it all, enjoying the beautiful sights this region has to offer. The best way to understand the essence of this effervescent drink is by visiting houses and cellars of champagne producers in the region. Our theme websites. They are both part of LVMH group, the world leader in the luxury goods industry. Below: The Comité Champagne invites you to discover each of the five main Champagne production areas, where Champagne Growers and Champagne Houses are eager to welcome you.. Private virtual and interactive champagne experience € 100. Living the centenary 14-18 . The town also makes an excellent base for exploring the Champagne Routes. Épernay’s handsome av de Champagne fizzes with maisons de champagne (Champagne houses). With the smaller producers, the entire process takes place onsite, so you can see the journey from grape to bottle. Teens and children can often tour for a reduced price. Epernay is where you go to visit the Avenue de Champagne. Paris, France. Visit these little known treasures in the Champagne-Ardennes Region; you'll be delightfully surprised by them like the chateau where the writer Voltaire lived with his lover, Emilie du Châtelet. Champagne …the word itself conjures up images of effervescence, luxury and celebration! I hope all of this information helps you plan a perfect trip to the champagne region. Champagne Dom Caudron is a cooperation of small growers that offers tours. The imagination and the intellect are engaged as Champagne cellar visits … Whether you are a huge champagne fan or are just looking for an interesting part of France to visit, I would say visiting Champagne is well worth it! Read more. Or for a high-end hotel check out La Villa Eugene, which is a beautiful 5-star hotel with a pool, set in a 19th-century mansion. With this in mind, visiting Champagne France, for many, is like taking a pilgrimage to this unique place where dreams are made. Hotel Dans Les Vignes is a good option, surrounded by vineyards and located right next to one of my favorite champagne houses, Bonnet-Ponson. As mentioned, if you don’t have a car and want to visit some of the smaller champagne producers you can book an organized tour. The Alsatian Wine Route. © 2021 Lonely Planet. Peek through wrought-iron gates at Moët’s private Hôtel Chandon, an early-19th-century pavilion-style residence set in landscaped gardens, which counts Wagner among its famous past guests. Grand Est (Alsace, Champagne, Lorraine) Hauts de France ( Nord Pas-de-Calais – Picardie) Ile de France (Paris) Nouvelle Aquitaine (Aquitaine, Poitou-Charentes, Limousin) Normandie Occitanie (Midi-Pyrénées, Languedoc) Pays de la Loire Provence – Cote d’Azur. Visit the Champagne cellars. Fun things to do in Champagne Call ahead or book online. I can unsubscribe any time using the unsubscribe link at the end of all emails. This full-day tour includes a tour of the Veuve Clicquot Champagne estate, a visit to the UNESCO-listed Cathedral of Reims, a Champagne lunch, and Champagne tasting in the Montagne de Reims’ vineyards. Explore. My two favorite champagne tours were with Veuve Cliquot in Reims and Mercier in Epernay. If you choose to stay in Epernay, check out Au Moulin Champenois as a budget-friendly hotel option. Larger brands, by contrast, tend to welcome visitors solely to their cellars, where the bottles are stored. Visit more, pay less! Prosperous Épernay, the self-proclaimed capitale du Champagne and home to many of the world’s most celebrated Champagne houses, is the best place for touring cellars and sampling bubbly. Get even more ideas and inspiration from our dedicated websites, so you can have the Alsatian experience that suits you best! In fact, the champagne hillsides, houses, and cellars are considered so special that they made in onto the UNESCO World Heritage List! Imagine the extravagance of a French royal coronation. Inflicting misery on Champagne was seen as weakening the resolve and morale of France. It's set to open as a new Champagne museum in 2020. Having visited this part of France several times myself, I’d like to share with you the main things you should know before visiting Champagne, to make the most of your trip. Don’t expect anything luxurious, but it’s a comfortable option. There's a lot packed into this country – artistic and architectural masterpieces,…. Tips for Driving Abroad for the First Time. When is the best time to visit Champagne? Before you visit any champagne house, check their opening hours. Taste Champagnes from different Maisons. Let's go ! That’s something to keep in mind if you want to visit smaller champagne houses. There are several beautiful towns around the Champagne region, but if you are visiting for the first time, or desire more options for after-tasting activities, it’s best to stay in the main city of Reims (pronounced Rans in French). Discover all the best the Champagne Region has to offer; the grapes, the soil, the winegrowers, wineries and ofcourse the best Champagne Houses to visit. The focal point of such pomposity was Reims’ resplendent Gothic cathedral, begun in 1211 on a site occupied by churches since the 5th century. Weekend in town . It is easily accessible by car or train. Let's go ! Visiting Champagne. Epernay is a cute French town. 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