A friend is taking family to Reims for a short holiday and has asked me to suggest an itinerary. I have made overnight stays in both Reims and Epernay but not for a number of years. I enjoy the 2012 Champagne of Lucien Leblond at Chavot-Courcourt and will suggest that if they wish to purchase but my experience of visiting chateaux in the region is limited. Any suggestions?
@Brosses Reims is quite walkable with a long pedestrianised main street, and a lot of hotels.
If a visit to a Champagne house is wanted, then Taittinger in Reims has interesting cellars, pyramid shaped dug out by hand in Roman times, also in teh cellar are remains of the abbey that was there.
But to visit the ‘big brand’ houses you have to book a tour which often start with a movie, then a cellar tour followed by a tasting. You need to book and choose an English language tour, therefore it takes some time. We’ve walked to Taittinger in the morning and booked a tour for that afternoon. At Mumm - also in Reims - we only had to wait 30 minutes or so to go to their next English tour.
I am concerned about
if there are kids, how interested would they be in visiting more than one Champagne house?
The WWII German surrender was signed in Reims and you can visit the room as it was with the signaturies in mannequin form http://musees-reims.fr/fr/musees/musee-de-la-reddition/
Reims Cathedral is a must and the tourist office is next door. See their website for details of Champagne makers visits https://www.reims-tourism.com/champagne-houses
Many require an appointment and some can’t/won’t offer English.
If you visit a small owner/maker then you’ll likely get great attention many pours but they are giving up valuable time and it’d be unfair not to buy at least a case
In terms of the larger Champagne houses I would recommend Pommery in Reims and Moët in Epernay. Been to both recently and enjoyed them. Didn’t book either and managed to join a tour.
If it is just a tasting you’re after and to purchase some Champagne I can recommend Goutorbe in Ay (very close to Epernay). Also Tribuat in Huatvilliers has a fantastic new tasting room with magnificent views over Epernay and is adjacent to the Dom Perignon vineyards. I’ve been buying both for a few years; reasonably priced and very good value.