Champagne is an effervescent region – quite literally thanks to the famous bubbly wine that’s made here. It’s also a land of rolling vineyards and canals, medieval towns and picturesque villages.
Why visit Champagne
There are hundreds of reasons to visit Champagne not least the fact that you can taste the famous elixir and buy it at a great price. Whether it’s the grand houses that tempt you or the smaller producers who live and work amongst the vineyards and have tiny tasting rooms and a warm welcome – you definitely have to taste the bubbles when you’re in Champagne.
Epernay and Reims
The locals say that Reims is the capital of Champagne the place and, just a few miles away, Epernay is the capital of Champagne the drink. So important are the bubbles that the region has UNESCO status too. Well not the whole place, it’s mainly the most important wine slopes around Epernay, Epernay town, and the Champagne houses and cellars of Reims.
Reims has a fabulous cathedral, several museums, great shopping and café lifestyle, fabulous indoor market and delicious restaurants – try Brasserie Flo for a memorable meal (96 Place Drouet d’Erlon). It’s a cosmopolitan small city with a great vibe and loads to do. There are several major Champagne houses in the city where you can take a tour and a taste including GH Mumm.
Epernay is home to the famous Avenue de Champagne, lined with Champagne houses including Moët et Chandon. It’s quieter than Reims but no less special and has some wonderful tasting bars, C Comme Champagne (8 rue Gambetta) is one of the best, and restaurants - La Cave a Champagne (16 rue Gambetta) is authentic and delectable.
Montagne de Reims
Not really a mountain, the Montagne de Reims is more of a gentle hilly plateau covered in vineyards and peppered with pretty little villages. Here you’ll discover loads of independent Champagne producers whose ancestors dug out the cellars and planted the vines. Many of them offer tastings and tours such as Champagne Vilmart in Rilly-La-Montagne.
The little town where it all began... Champagne is said to have been invented by monk Dom Perignon here. It’s a pretty, sleepy little place and a mecca for Champagne fans!
Cote des Bar and the Route du Champagne
The Aube department of Champagne is not so well-known as the Marne department with Reims and Epernay – and all the better for it! Peaceful vineyards in stunning countryside, independent Champagne makers galore such as the fabulous Drappier family (who make the biggest bottles of Champagne in the world) and sublime sleepy villages like Essoyes where the painter Renoir lived.
This cork-shaped medieval city in the Aube is absolutely stunning. It’s a place of cobblestone streets, half-timbered houses, outstanding restaurants, great shops, museums and more.
Champagne is a great place to visit and for some fabulous rentals in the area – French Connections are here to inspire you!