Champagne tours guided along Champagne touristic route

 Champagne, Tourism  Commentaires fermés sur Champagne tours guided along Champagne touristic route
Juin 112013
 

Here is a list of Champagne tours proposed by private companies. They will pick you mainly in Reims and Epernay and tour you in the countryside, along Champagne route, make stops in the vineyards or spectacular sites.

They all speak English and have knowledge about Champagne, wine making and local history.

Tasting in vineyards with Geoffrey Orban

Tasting in vineyards with Geoffrey Orban

 

The heart of these tours are usually visit(s) of local Champagne makers, far from fastuous Champagne brands. Back to the roots, wine making and simple but nice meetings.

Forged iron label in Hautvillers

Forged iron label in Hautvillers

We have been in contact with 3 of them  (the ones below with comments) and all guests that attended a tour were highly pleased with it.

 

La vigne du roy  private tours, higly appreciated

Cris events our favourite of the moment, deep knowledge of area and wine making, nice value,

Raw France looks expensive but our guests enjoyed it so much

France Bubbles tours

Ay éco visite

Vini vizit

Fernand Lemaire cellar in hautvillers

Fernand Lemaire cellar in hautvillers

Even if you have a rental car in Reims, these tours will be appreciated as you ll enjoy a memorable day. ( you may also have a memorable night in ‘Les Telliers’ B&B )

My advice would be not to have a car in Reims  as the city is compact and has nice bus and tram system. ( TGV trains are so fast… 45 min from Paris and 30 min from CdG Airport)

Like in most major cities, having a car is sometimes worrying, so explore city by feet and bus and save money for a paying guided tour.

Reims tourist office also proposes  a bus tour in vineyards lasting 3 hours ( 35€ 1pers, 60€ for a couple ; rates for 2013)

 

A nice find: ‘Au bon manger’

 Champagne, Reims, Restaurants, Tourism  Commentaires fermés sur A nice find: ‘Au bon manger’
Nov 022011
 

A nice place to enjoy France and its gastronmy. ‘Au bon manger’ is a grocer of fine aliments, you ll find there only the best meat, cheese or wines.

Decoration and stalls recall good old times. They basically are a fine grocery but they are able to serve you a full plate for around 20 Euro and recommend a nice wine or Champagne that perfectly fits your meal.

Smoked salmon, foie gras, French and Italian cheeses, olive and anchovies specialties, meat or fish terrines, sausages, smoked ham ….

Au bon manger

Au bon manger

They post sometimes on their blog: Au bon manger

Why not try and  enjoy a cheese plate with a cup of  Champagne !

 

L’Epicerie Au Bon Manger

7 Rue Courmeaux, 51100

Reims +33 326 03 45 29 ‎

A tour along Champagne route between Reims and Epernay…

 Champagne, Tourism  Commentaires fermés sur A tour along Champagne route between Reims and Epernay…
Oct 212011
 

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Whether you have a car or not it is recommended to spent at least half a day exploring regional park and drive along Champagne route.

There are many hidden places,old villages surrounded by vineyards, curiosities or historic places. And most of all you may stop and visit one of the 5000 family Champagne producer working in the Champagne area.

 

Here are some map extracts:

Please check Champagne Ardennes region website to get more information about Champagne route and its touristic sites.

They have recently added audio podcasts that illustrate many places on Champagne route (available in French English or German) so you may prepare an audio guide tour on Champagne route …

 

If you don’t travel by car then you may visit Reims vicinity with a private company:

They propose Champagne tours starting either from Reims or Epernay, they may pick you at the B&B.

The tour lasts between 3 and 4 hours and ends in local Champagne producer cellar with a tasting.

You will share a 6 to 8 van with other tourist or wine amateurs (it may be also a private tour on demand), all these tours are in French or English. (the persons we have met were fluent in English)

All the guests we have sent on these tours were really pleased and even some said it was their best part of their trip France ! They especially appreciated the visit to a local producer, which is a very different experience from the visit proposed by the major Champagne brands. These visits have a human dimension, you ll meet a wine maker with rough hands and painful back instead of an elegant hostess.

 

Cris events (Reims or Epernay, 40 Euro en 2011 for 4 hours, also proposing bike tours)

La vigne du Roy (Reims, 35 Euro in 2011 for 3 hours)

Champagne Domi Moreau (Epernay, we just know the website and have’nt been in contact with them)

 

Here is a photo selection a of places around Reims that you may discover on the Champagne route :

Ruinart cellar tour in Reims

 Champagne, Reims, Tourism  Commentaires fermés sur Ruinart cellar tour in Reims
Août 052011
 

I recently made Ruinart Champagne cellar tour in Reims and really loved it.

The building above the ground is interesting but the cellars are even more attractive.

Ruinart cellars are based on Roman chalk pits which are about 70 meter deep.

Dom Ruinart bought these chalk mines in the 18th century and since then Ruinart is storing Champagne bottles in tunnels connecting these chalk excavations. .

They store millions bottles in there (they are very secretive about quantities).

The person in charge of our tour did a nice job, recalling history of the brand and giving notions of elaboration of Champagne.

But that is not the main interest of this Champagne tour, what we really appreciated was that we experienced a memorable instant during the tasting.

Not only because of the Champagne quality: we were served R de Ruinart 94 and Ruinart rosé 95

We simply spent a nice moment around Champagne, siping Champagne and chatting.

It was a memorable hour, an instant Champagne, an instant Ruinart.

That’s just what Champagne is made for: nice memorable moments !!!

 

Booking Ruinart cellar tour (like all Champagne cellars tours) takes very long time by mail. They must receive many mails a day so we recommend to give them a call instead and then confirm the booking made (by credit card number)

The price of the tour is 26 Euro in 2011 but is really worth it. For 4 Euro extra you will be able to taste a second wine.

If you have a booking  at ‘Les Telliers’ guest house , we may also help book the tour for you.

Just keep in mind that you ‘ll need to schedule it weeks in advance as it very appreciated.

Ruinart website

 

 

Events in Reims in May 2011

 Events, Reims, Tourism  Commentaires fermés sur Events in Reims in May 2011
Avr 112011
 

Here is the calendar of touristic events prepared by Reims tourist office for May 2011

2011 – Mai Calendrier des Manifestations

 

It exists only in French but you may use translation tools available on the web to translate it.

If you stay in our guest house you may mail us to get a more precise explanation on any event.

Here is a link to ‘book a bed room’ page: maison d’hôtes

Meet local Champagne producers around Reims in 2011

 Champagne, Events, Tourism  Commentaires fermés sur Meet local Champagne producers around Reims in 2011
Avr 102011
 

A quick message to drop a link to the official calendar of Champagne producers available for cellars tours during week ends in 2011

These family producers will be home to welcome you in their cellars or winery and make Champagne tasting with you.

Please check the time table, some of them are speaking English and some others don’t …

The website has much content in French, including a map of all the producers belonging to this independent wine producer association

 

 

How to book a Champagne cellar tour in Reims

 Champagne, Reims, Tourism  Commentaires fermés sur How to book a Champagne cellar tour in Reims
Mar 242011
 

There are many Champagne brands represented in Reims.

Many of them have nice cellars to visit and delicate Champagne to taste.

All visits are paying guided tours. Price range is, as far as we know in 2011, from 10 to 26 Euro.

Visit may last from 30 minutes to more than one hour.

Most of them propose multiple tasting sometimes with an extra fee, but it is usually worth as you may taste old millesim or special ‘cuvée’

Booking is possible by mail but answers come very slowly. Phone call is usually easier especially if they request a credit card number.

It is highly recommended to book Champagne cellar tours in advance!

We sometimes help out our clients at the guest house when time is running short.

 

Suggestions to make a Champagne cellar visit by a local family producer

 Champagne, Reims, Tourism  Commentaires fermés sur Suggestions to make a Champagne cellar visit by a local family producer
Nov 182010
 

If you are interested in wine, the best way to discover fine Champagnes and make nice encounters is to visit an independent Champagne producer along touristic road of Champagne.

Visit the cellars of the major brands is interesting, they have impressive installations, deep cellars filled with millions bottles but if you wish to learn more about the process of making Champagne then you have to meet the persons who actually make the Champagne and work the vineyard themselves. Very few of the elegant ladies that will welcome you at Pommery‘s or Veuve Clicquot‘s cellars would have done a harvest themselves!

Gluing a Chamapgne bottle

Gluing a Champagne bottle

Some small producers have very interesting installations to show, even sometimes deep cellars. For them it is a real passion to create wine and share their experience. There are about 10000 producers of Champagne. Among them we have met 2 in particular that are very welcoming and willing to share their passion:

Champagne Daniel Dumont in Rilly la Montagne (not speaking English)

Champagne Henri Goutorbe in Ay

It is just 2 among many but we know them for more than 15 years and are loyal lovers of their Champagne.

If you take an appointment with a small Champagne producer please keep in mind that it may be for them a huge time investment to welcome you for one hour. Most of these producers have a family size they have no permanent employee to welcome you. So in a way, they expect you to buy some Champagne which should not be a real problem as the Champagne is usually excellent and nice value. For a nice Champagne the starting price is usually around 13 €

A Champagne winery

A Champagne winery

Here is a link which may help you find addresses of Champagne producers who welcome clients on week ends:

http://www.vignerons-independants-champagne.com/ look for ‘Rendez vous week ends’

Another way to discover Champagne and its producers is to stay with them in a B&B. Some of them personally own a guest house. In the countryside belong to a B&B label is essential, here are 2 of them: Clévacances and Gites de France

About tiping in France: Do I need to tip in restaurants or bars ?

 Restaurants, Tourism  Commentaires fermés sur About tiping in France: Do I need to tip in restaurants or bars ?
Oct 082010
 

Champagne Ponson in 2010

In France, service is always included in the price.Your bill may mention it or not but it is included.

Sometimes you ‘ll see for example « Service compris 10% » ; it may go up to 20% in the very elegant or gastronomic restaurants in which there are more employees than customers!

The French usually tip only if they have appreciated the moment they have spent in the bar or the restaurant, or if the waiter was especially pleasant. Personally I prefer to leave some coins on the table rather than to round up the amount of the bill paid with credit card. Doing this,  I’m certain that it will go to the waitress.

For example in a restaurant, if I’ll leave tip 2 € for a meal for two if think the service was nice and the meal good value. Or in a café I’ll tip some yellow coins ( cents of euro) If I especially enjoy my cup of Champagne.

If you want to know more about France and French: please come and stay in our guest house in Reims . We are always glad to exchange with our guests, B&B is the way to meet a country and its inhabitants.

The harvest of Champagne grapes has begun

 Champagne, Events, Tourism  Commentaires fermés sur The harvest of Champagne grapes has begun
Sep 242010
 

« Vendanges » is the French word for harvest. It has started on 2010 September the 10th and will last for more than 2 weeks. The vineyards are crowded with persons collecting the precious grapes that will become Champagne after more than 2 years in the cellars.

LOUVET Champagne vineyard

LOUVET Champagne vineyard

More and more events are organised during that period around Champagne, vine making and oenology. There are also many celebrations during the harvest in the villages along tourist road of Champagne.

Reims tourist office or Epernay tourist office might help you find events related to harvest 2010