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. This is also used in blends or to make the light, aperitif-style blanc de blancs Champagne. Stay there, too, if you’re curious to see the Côte des Blancs, which focuses solely on chardonnay-based bubbly. Perhaps loveliest of all is the studio garden, particularly in spring to early summer when it bursts forth with tulips, anemones and roses. The tourist office rents out audio guides for self-paced tours. The best place for aimless ambling is the area bounded by (clockwise from the north) rue du Général de Gaulle, the Hôtel de Ville, rue Général Saussier and rue de la Pierre. Bring a sweater, and wear comfortable shoes because you’ll walk a lot and the floors can be uneven. Created by, Moving to Spain as an American: What I Wish I Knew, Ask an Expat: Living in Mauritius, an Island in the…, A full-day champagne tour to Moët et Chandon and a family-run winery, plus lunch. 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. We offer four ways of visiting the Champagne region for a day from Paris: Full day trip from Paris to Epernay Full day trip from Paris to Reims Self-guided trip to Moet and Chandon (Epernay) Self-guided trip to G.H. There’s a fine museum at the tiny vineyard of Meteyer, which also produces superb Champagne from the Côte des Noirs; another notable nearby is Lamiable, in the Grand Cru village of Tours sur Marne. Love good bubbly? Of course, the most popular thing to do when visiting Champagne is taking tours of champagne houses and tasting a lot of champagne! 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. I may receive a commission for purchases made through these links, at no additional cost to you. If you choose to stay in Reims, Hotel Cecyl is a good budget hotel option with a very central location. Among grower champagnes, try Eric Rodez in Ambonnay, which makes an unusual blanc de blancs from chardonnay grown there, or the Côte des Blancs–based Henry de Vaugency, where the English-speaking owner Pascal conducts tours personally (his Grand Cru quality wines start at less than €20 per bottle, too). 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. It refers to a type of bubbly, made according to specific standards, within one of the sub-zones of France's Champagne region. The … All champagne houses offer their tours by appointment, so booking ahead is your best option. Épernay’s handsome av de Champagne fizzes with maisons de champagne (Champagne houses). You’ll find famous champagne houses here to visit, but also museums, nightlife, etc. The site affords breathtaking, sublime views of the Haute-Marne countryside. Even better, a new five-star hotel and spa, Royal Champagne, opened this spring north of the town and is owned by Franco-American couple Denise Dupré and Mark Nunnelly, who also own biodynamic Champagne house Leclerc Briant. And if you have any questions, just leave a comment below. 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. Our most popular newsletter for destination inspiration, travel tips, trip itineraries, and everything else you need to be an expert traveler in this beautiful world. I would recommend visiting Champagne between May to October. France is the world’s top tourist destination for good reason. I hope all of this information helps you plan a perfect trip to the champagne region. Tip: depending on traffic or which public transport you take, it takes only around one to two hours to get to Reims or Epernay from Paris. Of special interest are (from southwest to northeast) rue de Vauluisant, rue de la Trinité, rue Champeaux and rue Paillot de Montabert. Epernay is arguably the handiest base, as it’s at the center of the region. Mumm (Reims) Guided Small Group Full Day Trips With LinkParis.com, you can make a full day of touring focusing on either Epernay or Reims, with a city tour, cellar visit, vineyard visit, gourmet … Ad Choices, The Beginner's Guide to Visiting Champagne. We gathered our need-to-know tips into this handy primer to help you out. This winemaking … Only sparkling wines that are from the region of Champagne are allowed to be called “Champagne AOC”. All rights reserved. Don’t expect anything luxurious, but it’s a comfortable option. 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. It doesn’t have as many facilities as Reims, but it’s a great place to stay if you want to soak up that typical small-town French vibe for a few days. If you want to explore those less accessible champagne houses, it’s best to book a tour that includes transport. Consider eating among the locals at fish restaurant Le Bocal, tucked in the back of a fishmonger, and the funky, deli-style wine shop and wine bar Au Bon Manger. “Don’t worry," she says with a laugh. Mercier takes you on a train through their cellars, which is a fun experience! The material on this site may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, cached or otherwise used, except with the prior written permission of Condé Nast. Audioguides are available. After that, go to some of the smaller, often family-run, champagne houses to see the difference. "You will be addicted to Champagne after that first visit, and next time, you can visit for longer.” Avoid harvest time, usually in late summer, especially if you want to see the smaller, independent vineyards rather than just the big name brands. 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. Beneath the streets in 110km of subterranean cellars, more than 200 million bottles of Champagne, just waiting to be popped open on some sparkling occasion, are being aged.
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