Private Guided Champagne Tours

Veuve Clicquot in Reims, Moet and Dom Perignon in Epernay, conjure up images, which define the magic of Champagne. Their cellars and vineyards, have produced the most famous drink in the world. Let's go visit!

Your English speaking private driver guide will pick you up from your accommodation in Paris or Champange. From Paris you adventure begins on the picturesque Route du Champagne that winds through the vineyards and crosses the villages and pass the 25 meter high statue of Pope Urban II historical monument in Chatillon sur Marne with his arm outstretched pointing over the magnificent Marne Valley home to the Pinot Meunier grape. Arriving in Epernay you might head south to the Cote des Blancs dedicated to Chardonnay, which adds fruitiness to an assemblage, and visit Grand Cru producers in Cramant, Avize or Chouilly or north towards the Reims Mountains dominated by Pinot Noir which adds structure to a blend..

We will customize your day according to your interest. The below 4 basic itineraries are the starting points we use to build a tasting /cellar visit route based on your interests and of course availability of each producer. Please allow us to select the small producers.

Remember, shorter lunches will allow more time for champagne visits and we have plenty of nice restaurants to recommend at various budgets.


Depart From
:
Paris 7:45am: (10hrs)
Champagne: 8.44/9:20am: ( 8hrs)

 

Includes:
Pick Up and Drop Off by Air-Conditioned minibus or large car with English speaking driver guide.

 

Lunch,Tastings & Cellars:
Except for private visits all tastings and meals are paid on the spot. Lunch budget 20-80€pp.

 

Options:
Snail Farm Visit : Tour and tasting paired with Pinot Noir/Chardonnay Champagne.

Sabrage : Learn about and participate the Art of Sabrage, a traditional ceremony of Napoleon's Hussars in which you open a Champagne bottle with an authentic saber.

Enquiry Form

Grand Tour

Cellar visit at 2 Prestige Houses (Reims/Epernay) + 1 family estate + 1 cultural visits.

The Grand Tour is for those who wish to visit 2 of the famous champagne houses, stop at Chatillon sur Marne for a panoramic view of the region, the fabulous UNESCO Reims Cathedral or Abbey in Hautvillers. Depending on the appointment times at selected cellars you may have time for a tasting visit at a small producer. Visit Options.


Discovery Tour

1 Prestige Houses (Reims/Epernay) + 2 / 3 Family Estates + 1 /2 Cultural Visits.

The tour focuses less on long cellar visits allowing more time for cultural stops or multi tasting visits at small familly producers. I suggest a the cellar visit in Reims at Taittinger or Pommery where you can see the amazing underground chalk cellars unless your favorite brand is Moet, Dom or Billecart Salmon. Visit Options


Varietal Tasting Tour:

4 or 5 Family Estates

Learn how to identify different Champagne styles and grape varieties, fermentation times, metal vs barrel ageing and terroir during 12-15 multi tastings spread over 2 or 3 regions. Sample Itinerary.


Luxury Tour:

1 Prestige House + 1/2 Family Estates + 1 Cultural Visit + Gastronomic Lunch.

Relax and immerse yourself into a few select experience. We suggest either a private cellar visit at Dom Perignon or Taittinger or small group visit at Veuve Clicquot or Ruinart, with lunch at a Michelin restaurant and a visit to a high-end boutique producers and a cultural visit.

History

The Champagne wine region is a historic province in the northeast of France. The area is best known for the production of the sparkling white wine that bears the region's name. EU law and the laws of most countries reserve the term "Champagne" exclusively for wines that come from this region located about 100 miles (160 km) east of Paris. The viticultural boundaries of Champagne are legally defined and split into five wine producing districts within the administrative province-the Aube, Cote des Blancs, Cote de Sezanne, Montagne de Reims, and Vallee de la Marne. The towns of Reims and Epernay are the commercial centers of the area.

Located at the northern edges of the wine growing world, the history of the Champagne wine region has had a significant role in the development of this unique terroir. The area's close proximity to Paris promoted the regions economic success in its wine trade but also put the villages and vineyards in the path of marching armies on their way to the French capital. Despite the frequency of these military conflict, the regions developed a reputation for quality wine production in the early Middle Ages and was able to continue that reputation as the region's producers began making sparkling wine with the advent of the great Champagne houses in the 17th and 18th century. The principal grapes grown in the region include Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and Pinot Meunier. Pinot Noir is the most widely planted grape in the Aube region and grows very well in Montagne de Reims. Pinot Meunier is the dominant grape in the Vallee de la Marne region. The Cote des Blancs is dedicated almost exclusively to Chardonnay

Reims & Mountains

The Champagne wine region is a historic province in the northeast of France. The area is best known for the production of the sparkling white wine that bears the region's name. EU law and the laws of most countries reserve the term "Champagne" exclusively for wines that come from this region located about 100 miles (160 km) east of Paris. The viticultural boundaries of Champagne are legally defined and split into five wine producing districts within the administrative province-the Aube, Cote des Blancs, Cote de Sezanne, Montagne de Reims, and Vallee de la Marne. The towns of Reims and Epernay are the commercial centers of the area.

Located at the northern edges of the wine growing world, the history of the Champagne wine region has had a significant role in the development of this unique terroir. The area's close proximity to Paris promoted the regions economic success in its wine trade but also put the villages and vineyards in the path of marching armies on their way to the French capital. Despite the frequency of these military conflict, the regions developed a reputation for quality wine production in the early Middle Ages and was able to continue that reputation as the region's producers began making sparkling wine with the advent of the great Champagne houses in the 17th and 18th century. The principal grapes grown in the region include Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and Pinot Meunier. Pinot Noir is the most widely planted grape in the Aube region and grows very well in Montagne de Reims. Pinot Meunier is the dominant grape in the Vallee de la Marne region. The Cote des Blancs is dedicated almost exclusively to Chardonnay

Notre-Dame Cathedral A masterpiece of Gothic art, the Cathedral of Our Lady was started in 1211. It was the cathedral of coronations for French kings in memory of the baptism of Clovis by Saint Remi, probably on Christmas Day 498. The left portal on the west front carries the famous Smiling Angel statue. Tau Palace The former Archbishop's Palace was built by Mansart and Robert de Cote in 1690. Today, it houses the cathedral's museum with tapestries, sculptures and artifacts from the kings' coronations. The Salle du Tau, once used as a banqueting hall after coronations, is most noteworthy. Saint-Remi Basilica It is the largest Romanesque pilgrimage church in northern France. It was built as a shrine to Saint Remi. The nave was consecrated in 1049 whereas the apse was built in the late 12th century and is an example of early Gothic style. Saint-Remi Museum The famous Benedictine Abbey of Saint-Remi, the shrine of the Holy Ampula used for French kings' coronations, is a magnificent building in the classical style. It now houses the city's Museum of History and Archeology with impressive collections from Prehistory to the Renaissance as well as a large military history section. 12th-13th centuries chapter house.

Epernay / Marne Valley

Epernay is at the heart of the world's most prestigious vineyards. 20,000 hectares of vineyards stretch all around you, whilst under your feet lie 200 million bottles ageing in 120 kilometers of cellars carved out of the chalk soil over hundreds of years. The most famous producers amongst the many grand houses and mansions lining the Avenue de Champagne allow Epernay justly to lay claim to the coveted title of the Capital of Champagne.

Dom Perignon

Hautvillers, was founded in 658 and is known as being the cradle of Champagne. At the age of 28 years old Dom Perignon was appointed cellar master at the Abbey of Hautvillers. He is often attributed with the invention of Champagne, even if there are earlier recorded instances of the production of sparkling wines by the Champagne method. Dom Perignon is the prestige cuvée of the giant Moët et Chandon. It is named after the famous monk, who was the most important early influence in the development of Champagne into the sparkling wine we know today. It was not the first to use his name, as early in the last century small proprietaire-recoltants (farmer-growers) at Hautvillers, employed it for their wine. Unfortunately for them they did not register the name, Dom Perignon, as a trademark.

Varietal Tasting Tour:

Our first tasting is in the Marne Valley at familly estate which uses predominately Pinot Meunier. You'll taste start with a light 95% Meunier / 5% Chardonnay followed by a more structured 50% Meunier/ Pinot Noir 50%. From here we drive to a small estate near Hautvillers to compare up to 5 blends including standard Brut and Brut Nature (no added sugar). The first afternoon visit might be a boutique producer of gastronomic Champagnes in Ay with vineyards that date from the 17th century origins.  You will taste a unique style that comes through the entries range from the entry level to vintage Grand Cru blend (awarded 92 points by the 2007 Best Sommelier in the World) just behind Krug. Finally we visit to a Premier and Grand Cru producer in the Montagne de Reims for a visit of the production facilities and a multi tasting. An optional 5th stop might be either at a small champagne house to taste a blend from pre phyllox roots or a stop at a specialist in Rose Champagne.

Visit Highlights:

Montagne de Reims & City of Reims

Prestige Champagne Houses with Cellar Visits : Taittinger / Veuve Cliquot / Ruinart / Pommery
Tasting Visits at Family Producers with predominance of Pinot Noir
Cultural : UNESCO Cathedral in Reims

 

Marne Valley & Avenue de Champagne in Epernay

Prestige Champagne Houses with Cellar Visits : Moet et Chandon / Dom Perignon / Billecart Salmon
Tasting Visits at Premier Cru Family producers nearby with an predominance of Pinot Meunier
Cultural: Abbey of Dom Perignon in Hautvillers (Premier Cru Village), Statue of Urban II in Chatillon

 

Note: Bollinger, Krug, Perrier Jouet, Pol Roger, Crystal and Laurent Perrier do not offer visits.

“Had an outstanding 3-day tour of Reims/Epernay by Mikael of Manstouch for a group of 5. We toured/tasted at both small and large vineyards/caves with a guide who was very knowledgeable and experienced. He catered to our objectives, and fulfilled our goals of being educated in the method champagne. "