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Sparkling Champagne

A rose by any other name is still a rose but a champagne by any other name is not Champagne. It is only Champagne if it grows in Champagne, France. The gentle rolling hills, temperate climate and chalky soil in this region proved ideal for making this sparkling wine, with a process which was brought to the area by monks from the south of France. The TGV service makes the non-stop run in as little as 31 minutes - it's quicker to get to Champagne from the Paris airport than to a hotel in Paris. For this reason, the area makes a perfect start or finish to a Paris vacation.

In this 3 day/2 night independent package you'll visit two of the big Champagne Houses, Pommery in Reims and Moet & Chandon in Epernay. This is an easy way to get a general overview of production and tasting. You'll also visit some of the small producers in the villages where they make the wines from their own grapes. Your accommodations will be at a 5-star hotel, arguably the best in the region, complete with Michelin star restaurant and spa. You will also experience making your own vintage champagne at an exclusive workshop.


Inclusions

  • 2 nights 5* accommodations in the heart of Champagne with breakfast
  • Bilingual driver during your stay
  • Pommery cellar visit and tasting
  • Reims Cathedral visit
  • Epernay Moet & Chandon visit and tasting
  • Champagne workshop with lunch
  • Marne River dinner cruise
  • Champagne Trail
  • Aube Champagne tasting


Itinerary

Day 1: Paris - Reims - Epernay

Morning departure by TGV train from Paris to Reims. You will be picked up by your driver at the station for a tour and tasting of champagne at the Pommery Cellars. After an introduction to the area, visit the World Heritage Site of the Reims Cathedral. A jewel of French gothic architecture, whose smiling angel has become the symbol of the city, the cathedral was the site of the coronation of 33 Kings of France. After lunch, depart for Epernay. Located in the heart of the vineyards, it is internationally known as the capital of Champagne. Many of the most prestigious Champagne houses like Perrier Jouet, Mercier and De Castellane are located here. Your next tasting will be at the world renowned Moet & Chandon Champagne. After your tasting enjoy a stroll downtown. Return to the town of Vinay (a few minutes drive from Epernay) to check into your 5-star hotel, La Briqueterie. It is home to both an excellent Michelin-starred fine dining restaurant and a full service spa. (B)


Day 2: Oenologist Workshop & Marne River Cruise

Breakfast at the hotel. This morning learn how to create your own vintage champagne at an exclusive Champagne Workshop. Lunch will be back at your hotel and you'll have free time before your evening cruise on a river boat along the Marne river. A 4-course dinner with wine is included. (B,L, D)


Day 3: The Champagne Routes - Paris

Breakfast at your hotel. Today you will drive along the Champagne Trail where there are hundreds of tiny villages dotting the landscape, each of which is home to equally tiny family wine producers. This is where you will see the world's most famous vineyards. The best known is Hautvillers, the cradle of champagne, just outside Epernay. This is where a famous monk named Dom Perignon took up residence at an abbey you can still visit (he is buried here). While the Dom did not invent the bubbly, his contributions, from perfecting the grape blend to introducing the cork, are legendary, and the town is still home to many family cellars. In the afternoon, return to Paris. (B)