The Ultimate Guide to Visiting the Champagne Region

The Ultimate Guide to Visiting the Champagne Region

The Champagne area is an space of France greatest identified for its glowing wines of the identical identify – champagne! It is a spot of rolling hills and vineyards, crisscrossed with picturesque cities and historic monuments. A go to to Champagne may be an unforgettable expertise, as there are various issues to discover, from tasting a number of the world’s most interesting bubbly wines to taking within the iconic French countryside.

This information is all it’s worthwhile to plan your excellent journey for visiting Champagne in France. We’ll discover one of the best sights, experiences and wines the realm presents, from a day exploring the vineyards of Épernay to a night sampling a few of Reims’ most interesting sparklers.

So whether or not you’re searching for a romantic getaway or an journey of epic proportions, this information has you coated. Here is our final information to visiting the Champagne area.

The Down-Low on the Champagne Region

Champagne Region Vineyard

Kyle Kroeger / ViaTravelers

The Champagne wine area is split into 5 distinct areas: Montagne de Reims, Vallée de la Marne, Côte des Blancs, Côte de Sézanne, and Côte des Bar. Each of those areas produces its personal distinctive fashion of glowing wine, so it’s a good suggestion to discover the completely different areas to know the native wines.

Montagne de Reims is house to a number of the most interesting pinot noir in France and is understood for producing highly effective, full-bodied champagnes. Perhaps essentially the most well-known a part of the Champagne wine area, the world’s oldest and most prestigious champagne homes are discovered right here.

Vallée de la Marne produces a variety of wealthy and fruity wines with slight sweetness. Vallée de la Marne produces lighter champagnes with a contact of acidity and a fruity taste.

The space is understood for its vineyards that fan out alongside the winding river and produce some glorious wines. It is domestically referred to as the Pinot Meunier Territory.

Côte des Blancs focuses on champagnes utilizing chardonnay grapes. The chardonnay grape right here produces a number of the most elegant and aromatically complicated champagnes on the earth.

Côte de Sézanne is usually clustered along with Côte des blancs, as it’s primarily comprised of chardonnay grapes. The wines are typically softer than the opposite, related whites.

Côte des Bar is the smallest of the 5 areas and is understood for its pinot noir–centered champagnes. The area produces a number of the oldest and costliest wines in Champagne and is taken into account an space specializing in top-end, complicated wines.

Transportation Options for the Champagne Region

Vineyard in Champagne, France

Your Champagne wine area tour goes to start in Paris, France. This is the City of Love, nevertheless it’s additionally the largest commuter hub within the nation. No matter the place you’re flying in from, it’s usually greatest to fly into Paris after which navigate to different elements of the nation.

The quaint village of Sacy is only a quick 2-hour drive from the center of Paris. The drive takes you alongside a scenic freeway displaying off a few of France’s greatest countryside.

There are not any direct prepare routes between Paris and Sacy. If you’re seeking to take pleasure in a comfy prepare journey firstly of your wine tour, you’ll have to join to a different metropolis to travel from Paris to Sacy by prepare. There are many FlixBus options between Paris and Reims for these not seeking to hire a automobile.

For one of the best all-around expertise, we suggest a day journey to Champagne with eight tastings and lunch. On this common and highly-rated tour, you’ll be picked up out of your resort in Paris earlier than being whisked away in an air-conditioned minivan to the Champagne area. Accompanied by your professional information, you’ll go to no less than two champagne homes and style eight completely different wines, in addition to take pleasure in a conventional French lunch.

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Best Places to Stay within the Region

Rolling Vineyards in Champagne, France
Kyle Kroeger / ViaTravelers

Now that you just’ve determined between a day journey or in a single day keep, let’s get into a number of the hottest lodging choices: no journey to the Champagne wine area is full with out discovering some iconic locations to remain. There’s no scarcity of choices with regards to discovering lodging in French wine nation.

You’ll have your decide of every little thing from romantic chateaus to cozy mattress and breakfasts all through the realm. These are a number of the greatest locations to relaxation your head after a busy day of sipping wine at a few of France’s most historic vineyards.

Chateau de Sacy

Château de Sacy Vineyard
Kyle Kroeger / ViaTravelers

Located within the coronary heart of Montagne de Reims, the Chateau de Sacy is among the greatest locations to remain in all of France. It’s the right getaway if you wish to discover one of the best of what the Champagne area presents.

Chateau de Sacy has breathtaking rooms which can be one thing out of a storybook. They have choices for {couples} searching for a romantic escape and areas excellent for a family vacation.

At Chateau de Sacy, you’ll by no means run out of issues to do. This chateau presents on-site yoga courses, a restaurant, and even hot air balloon rides! You can absorb one of the best tradition that Sacy and Reims have to supply, together with seeing the opera and even studying tips on how to open a champagne bottle with a saber!

Speaking of the Chateau de Sacy restaurant, I hope you’re prepared for one of the best meal of your life. This scrumptious French restaurant has extra than simply high-end French cuisine; it additionally contains a full 360-degree view of Chateau de Sacy’s winery.

The Chateau de Sacy is understood for its wealthy historical past and refined tradition. This chateau celebrates ladies’s achievements within the historical past of French wine. If you’re seeking to dive into the area’s distinctive historical past, there’s no higher place to remain!


Hot Air Balloons in Reims, France During Sunset

Located within the Montagne de Reims area, the town of the identical identify is taken into account the champagne capital of France. Reims is house to a number of the most prestigious champagne homes within the space, and it’s a major vacationer hub full of pleasure, leisure, and every little thing it’s worthwhile to tour the local wineries.

Whether staying on the Chateau de Sacy or in Reims, you’ll be a brief distance away from a number of the greatest classic champagne on the earth. You can tour vineyards, discover historic wine cellars, and go on the champagne tasting of a lifetime!

Reims can be house to some breathtaking structure. The Reims Cathedral is a UNESCO World Heritage Site frequented by celebrities, artists, and the French the Aristocracy. The cathedral is house to over 2,000 statues and can make a super location to snap some stylish pics!

Reims additionally options some elegant vacation stays which can be additionally budget-friendly. You’ll be breaking seals on bottles of bubbly, not your pockets whenever you keep in Reims! Hôtel Cecyl is an enthralling spot to remain within the heart of Reims. The cozy rooms welcome you again after a long day of exploring.

For these seeking to splurge a little bit, La Caserne Chanzy Hotel & Spa is a gorgeous resort within the city heart, full with a pool and spa to benefit from your luxurious keep.


Épernay Vineyards

Épernay is the best French village for followers of champagne historical past! Epernay has grown into a decent metropolis in its personal proper, however the primary avenue remains to be wealthy with a historic presence. The slim European-style streets and irregular buildings are one thing out of a fairy story, making it an excellent base in your Champagne tours.

If you’re in Épernay, it’s a must to go to the historic Avenue de Champagne! This avenue lives as much as its namesake and is house to a number of the world’s greatest champagne companies. Épernay can be house to many historic mansions. You can take a break from all that wine tasting to walk by way of beautiful feats of structure like Château de Pierry, Château de Montmort, and Château de Condé.

Épernay is the place you’ll want to move to go to one of the best champagne homes within the area. They all make their house both proper on this metropolis or close by, which additionally makes Épernay an excellent place to remain whilst you’re on the town! We suggest staying as shut as you’ll be able to to one of the best wineries. Le Pink Lady is a pleasant guesthouse positioned just some steps from the Avenue de Champagne.

For an all out expertise, why not keep immediately on the grande avenue? Les Suites du 33 is an expensive mattress and breakfast only a quick stroll from the highest champagne homes, full with their very own onsite vineyard.

See Related: Most Beautiful Small Towns in France

The Most Iconic Champagne Houses to Visit

No journey to this area of France is full with out visiting a number of the world’s most interesting champagne homes. If you’ve ever questioned the place iconic vintages come from, we’ll introduce you to a number of the best-kept secrets and techniques about champagne. Get able to be excited as a result of we’re about to namedrop the largest names in wine and champagne.

Moët & Chandon

Wine Barrel in Moët & Chandon
Kyle Kroeger / ViaTravelers

Address: 20 Av. de Champagne, 51200 Épernay, France

The Moët & Chandon Maison is the modern-day house of Dom Perignon, aka one of the well-known champagne homes on the earth! You can discover the most important community of underground champagne and wine cellars just some steps away from the Avenue de Champagne in Épernay!

Hot Air Balloon Above Moet and Chandon in Epernay, France
Kyle Kroeger / ViaTravelers

Dom Perignon began when a Benedictine monk, named Perignon, started experimenting with wines within the historic Benedictine Hautvillers Abbey. The monks at this abbey have been legendary for his or her expertise in producing new types of grapes and their skill to advance the craft of vinting.

The Moët & Chandon Maison presents guided tours with interpreters out there. The longest tour lasts 1 hour and half-hour.

Each tour ends with a champagne tasting courtesy of Moët & Chandon. If you’d choose to tour Moët & Chandon in addition to one other home, Taittinger, this 8-hour tour from Reims consists of each homes.

See Related: Burgundy Wine Tour & Itinerary: How to Plan the Perfect Trip


Courtyard at Ruinart Champagne House
Leonard Zhukovsky /

Address: 4 Rue des Crayères, 51100 Reims, France

The grounds of the Ruinart champagne home are breathtaking. This is a champagne home simply as centered on world-leading bubbly as they’re on crafting a creative expertise for everybody who visits their Reims location.

In the 18th century, the Ruinart household made the intelligent resolution to transform their chalk quarries into one in every of France’s most expansive and exquisite wine growing old services. This website is famend worldwide and acknowledged as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. These chalk wine cellars are almost 40 meters deep and lengthen over 8 kilometers throughout two ranges. 

Getting a tour of Ruinart is a bespoke expertise. Tours of the grounds and the wine cellar usually are not frequently scheduled and should be booked upfront.

Tour teams are restricted to 12 people, so ensure to name forward and reserve your spot. Of course, no wine cellar tour can be full with out a tasting. The finish of your tour of Ruinart comes with a complimentary tasting of a few of Ruinart’s most interesting champagne.

Veuve Clicquot

Veuve Clicquot
Kyle Kroeger / ViaTravelers

Address: 1 Rue Albert Thomas, 51100 Reims, France

The Veuve Clicquot property spreads over a powerful 390 hectares, together with its vineyards, the champagne home, and breathtaking wine cellars. No two journeys to Veuve Clicquot are the identical. Each tour of those wine cellars is a novel expertise that takes you thru historic chalk wine caverns and ends with a tasting of Veuve Clicquot’s world-famous glowing wines.

Every tour comes with a wine tasting that includes a few of their greatest vintages. We suggest paying a little bit further for the blind tasting of Veuve Clicquot’s Yellow Label Brüt and their classic cuvée!

Veuve Clicquot Vintage Cuvée
Kyle Kroeger / ViaTravelers

Veuve Clicquot can be open to non-public occasions. You can guide a personal tour, tasting, or perhaps a meal. If you’re searching for one thing bespoke, you’ll be able to attain out to this champagne home to prepare your very personal occasion.

The eating expertise at Veuve Clicquot is run by their very own kitchen. It focuses on “meals experiences” which can be positive to supply the identical stage of luxurious and historical past as their champagne. For the last word expertise, we suggest a combined day trip from Reims that can take you to this iconic property.

Maison Michel Gonet – Villa Signolle

Michel Gonet Champagne House, Epernay
Kyle Kroeger / ViaTravelers

Address: 37 Av. de Champagne, 51200 Épernay, France

Maison Gonet is one in every of Épernay’s most prestigious champagne homes. The beautiful structure is the very first thing you’ll discover in your journey to Maison Gonet.

The constructing radiates the stately prominence that Gonet’s status is constructed on. The home is constructed within the Nineteenth-century Gothic fashion and supplies a shocking location to take pleasure in every little thing Épernay presents.

Your experience at Maison Gonet continues with a possibility to discover the grounds and the home itself. Beautiful strolling trails additionally take you thru a few of France’s most pristine countryside.

All the whereas, you’ll be able to take pleasure in sipping on Maison Gonet’s world-class wine and champagne choices. You can style champagne on the terrace, within the backyard, or lounge together with your bubbly contained in the historic champagne home.

You’ll get a first-hand journey by way of each their historic wine cellars and get the uncommon privilege of touring their processing operation. Maison Gonet can be conveniently positioned on the grande avenue, which implies you’ll be able to expertise lots of the world’s most excellent wines in a single journey.

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Tips for Visiting the Champagne Region

Tip 1: Make an Appointment

Maison Gonet, Veuve Clicquot, and nearly any champagne home in France have to be booked upfront. Even if their web site says you will get tickets on the door, you should purchase yours forward of time. These are world-class locations, and folks flock from all corners of the globe to discover wine nation.

Tip 2: Dress the Part

Woman Wearing a Dress on a Wine Tasting Tour

Visiting the chateau of a historic winery shouldn’t be like taking a tour of your native brewery. This is a once-in-a-lifetime journey to one of the prestigious locations on the earth, so why not have a little bit enjoyable and costume up?

It’s not unusual to run into celebrities, nobles, and important figures whereas exploring the aforementioned champagne homes round Reims and Épernay. This is the right event to splurge on a brand new outfit or get away your special day outfits!

When it comes time to tour the wine cellars, decide to put on one thing a bit hotter. It is perhaps tempting to go for heels and an eye catching costume, however wine cellars are normally saved between 10 to fifteen levels Celsius (50 to 59 levels Fahrenheit) and infrequently have tough terrain that might be difficult to stroll in something however comfy footwear.

Tip 3: Learn a Little French!

Parlez-vous Français? Knowing a little bit French earlier than heading out in your journey will unlock a way more pleasant facet to the individuals who run and preserve these French tourism hotspots.

The greatest insiders in French tourism will let you know that figuring out some primary French is one of the best ways to get the locals in your facet. While they’re largely all fluent in English and different languages, beginning conversations in French is a cultural signal of respect that can get you locations in wine nation. Always beginning a dialog with “bonjour” will already put you forward.

Tip 4: Know When to Book Your Holiday

Most wineries solely do excursions and different experiences on working days. This means you need to keep away from reserving your journey throughout main French holidays.

Weekends, New Years, and summer time are a number of the hottest instances to guide these journeys. If you wish to dodge the strains and save a little bit cash, take into account reserving your journey in the course of the low season.

The French additionally take pleasure in taking a leisurely lunch break, together with tour guides and champagne home employees. Take a tip from the French and relax in the course of the hours from midday to 2 pm when most companies decelerate anyway.

See Related: Best Holiday Destinations for Couples

Tip 5: What to Pack for Your French Champagne House Adventure

Here’s the largest tip from anybody who’s vacationed in French wine nation: depart loads of house in your baggage to deliver house some bubbly!

You wish to just be sure you pack a versatile wardrobe that may deal with cool French evenings and fancy dinner events. If you neglect the little issues like a phone charger adapter, Sacy, Épernay, and Reims are central vacationer places that can have every little thing you want. Some inns even have these things stocked simply in case a vacationer misplaces the necessities.

Now, you’re able to hit the scene in your subsequent journey to the Avenue de Champagne!


What is the Champagne wine area identified for?

The Champagne area is among the main wine-producing districts in France. The soil and local weather of the realm are perfect for creating high quality bottles of bubbly with a novel style. It is made completely from chardonnay, pinot noir, and pinot Meunier grapes that are fermented in bottles utilizing the standard méthode champenoise, or champagne methodology.

What is the distinction between champagne and glowing wine?

Authentic champagne is a glowing wine that may solely be produced within the Champagne area of France. It is made with a selected mix of grapes, equivalent to pinot noir, pinot Meunier, and chardonnay grapes, and should adhere to strict rules as a way to be labeled as such. On the opposite hand, glowing wines are made worldwide with several types of grapes and varied strategies of manufacturing.

They may be labeled as glowing wine or could tackle a unique identify, equivalent to Cava in Spain or Prosecco in Italy. Champagne is often costlier than different wines because of its particular manufacturing strategies, which be sure that it has the distinctive taste and traits which have made it a a lot sought-after drink.

Is it higher to remain in Reims or Épernay?

Both cities are nice for guests to the area, however in the event you’re seeking to keep in an space that focuses on champagne, then Épernay is your greatest guess. The metropolis is house to a number of the most well-known homes within the space, together with Moet & Chandon.

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