A Champagne Connoisseur’s Guide: Beyond the Bubbles of Reims to visit Champagne

When it comes to exploring the Champagne region, many visitors make the common mistake of limiting their experience to the renowned houses in Reims, such as Veuve Clicquot. While these iconic names undoubtedly offer a taste of the region’s excellence, a truly immersive journey into the heart of Champagne requires a more diverse and nuanced approach. To uncover the authentic charm and distinct terroirs of this celebrated wine region, consider a curated itinerary that extends beyond the bustling city of Reims to visit Champagne.

1. Start with a Wild Experience at Vrancken Pommery:

Begin your Champagne adventure with a visit to a well-known house. But opt for one that breaks away from the conventional. Vrancken Pommery, for instance, stands out for its wild and artistic caves, offering a unique perspective on Champagne production. Beyond the allure of their beautiful cellars, Vrancken Pommery’s Champagnes boast an exceptional price-to-pleasure ratio. That makes it an ideal starting point for your exploration.

vrancken pommery

2. Explore Epernay – A Town with Character:

Shift your focus to Epernay, another charming town in the Champagne region. Venture beyond the crowded streets and explore a lesser-known Champagne house in Epernay. This will provide a fresh perspective on the winemaking process and allow you to savor the subtle differences in terroir that make each house unique.

3. Embrace the Countryside:

Domaine Bouquet and Domaine Roualet: Escape the hustle and bustle by delving into the picturesque countryside of Champagne. Domaine Bouquet and Domaine Roualet are two hidden gems, offering not only inexpensive Champagnes but also the opportunity to connect with the owners. Engage in meaningful conversations, gain insights into the challenges faced by these winemakers, and relish vintage Champagnes at surprisingly affordable prices. The serene landscapes of the countryside add to the overall charm of the experience.

4. Discover Hautvillers and Dom Perignon’s Abbey Church:

No journey through Champagne is complete without a visit to the historic town of Hautvillers. Wander through the cobbled streets and explore the Abbey Church, where the legendary Dom Perignon made his mark on Champagne production. Gain a deeper understanding of the monk’s pioneering contributions to the art of winemaking.

5. Marvel at the Cathedral of Reims:

While Reims is often associated with Champagne, take some time to appreciate its architectural and historical treasures. The Cathedral of Reims, where numerous French kings were coronated, stands as a testament to the rich cultural heritage of the region. Immerse yourself in the grandeur of this iconic landmark and soak in the history that surrounds it.

6. Indulge in Culinary Delights:

Enhance your Champagne journey with delightful culinary experiences at local establishments. Harold’s in Reims and Why Not in Epernay offer delectable menus that pair seamlessly with the effervescence of Champagne. Immerse yourself in the local gastronomy and savor the flavors that complement the region’s world-famous sparkling wines.

To truly appreciate the nuances to visit Champagne, look beyond the well-trodden path of Reims’ famous houses. Craft a personalized itinerary that includes diverse experiences, from the wild charm of Vrancken Pommery to the serene landscapes of Domaine Bouquet and Domaine Roualet. Explore the rich history of Hautvillers and Reims, savoring not only the exquisite Champagnes but also the culture and stories that make this region a treasure trove for wine enthusiasts.

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