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See how champagne is made and sample the vintages

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Take a flight over the vines
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Lovers of champagne must go to Epernay. This small town is only fifteen miles south of Reims but can rightfully be called the centre of  "champagne country". Here is where the most famous champagne producers can be found, such as Moët & Chandon or Perrier-Jouët.

The town is so small that you can easily explore it on foot and you must not miss the chance to go underground to visit the mysterious and ancient cellars where the magic of champagne happens.  If you are serious about champagne, then many wine growers, champagne houses, wine cooperatives and tasting spaces will welcome you for cellar tours or wine tastings. And don’t forget the small producers too.  With them you can get closer to the production of champagne and compare what they do against how the big producers do it.

Of course there are many excellent restaurants in Epernay, but why not eat on board a boat sailing down the Marne River? You can see the countryside while dining well. Or instead dine at Les Molyneux or Caveau Champagne Lallement in the Reims Mountain Vineyard in Chamery. Here you can lunch at the wine grower’s, served by people in local dress in a historic vaulted room with a view of the vineyard. You will also tour the vineyard by miniature train and visit the cellars too.

Larger, but just as fascinating for the champagne lover, is the town of Reims. Here are the champagne houses of  Lanson,  Mumm, Pommery, Taittinger and Veuve Clicquot to mention just a few. There are over 200 km of underground cellars in Reims, which shelter over one million bottles of champagne as it matures.

Take the wine route by visiting the local village of Ludes, home of one the main champagne houses, Canard-Duchêne. Ludes is the centre of  the "kingdom" of the pinot noir grape, one of the three used to create Champagne.

There are over 200 restaurants in Reims, so eating out is a pleasure and you are always spoilt for choice. Regional cuisines, expensive restaurants and small bistros are all around. Don’t miss the "Rémois" specialities such as spiced bread or le Biscuit Rose de Reims. This is an ancient recipe for a biscuit that locals dip into champagne and which doesn’t break but instead soaks up the delicious wine.

 

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