The world of champagne is doubly fascinating. It is created thanks to family secrets and it is made in impressively splendid and historical places.
We invite you to discover the very best Champagne Houses. A sparkling journey interspersed by tastings of their best wines.
The beautiful, Elizabethan-style buildings of the Vranken Pommery estate, situated at the gateway of Reims, invite you to discover the cellars of a Champagne House listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site.
The pathway through this incredible journey, going back to the Gallo-Roman era, reveals bas-reliefs sculpted in the chalk itself and contemporary works displayed every year in major exhibitions. And, to help you find your way through this underground labyrinth, you can see the names of the European capitals inscribed on the walls.
You can finish off this discovery by sampling a glass of champagne in the romantic gardens of the Villa Damoiselle, another of the estate's gems.
A stone's throw from the Saint-Rémi Basilica, the House of Taittinger also organizes guided visits to discover the cellars of the ancient Saint-Nicaise abbey, destroyed during the French Revolution. But that's not all, the House of Taittinger also proposes bespoke Champagne tastings.
It is at a depth of 18 meters that they work their magic to produce 15 million bottles each year. During the visit, you will be able to see the traces left by those who found refuge here during the First World War.
Not far from the House of Pommery, the cellars of the House of Ruinart are known for their artistic and gastronomic programs.
Founded in 1729, this prestigious House, with its mix of Art Nouveau and Art Deco styles, is one of the oldest producers of Champagne wines of the city of Reims. It was classed as an historic site in 1931.
Weather permitting, you can prolong the visit by a tasting of the best wines in the gardens or during a brunch served in the private dining room.
La veuve Cliquot
Curiously, champagne is often associated with widows or "veuves". The most famous of them is the widow called Madame Cliquot. Barbe Nicole Ponsardin, known as "veuve Cliquot", was the first woman cellar manager, who was in charge of an estate and created her own vintage.
She was also the inventor of the "riddling table" to clarify champagne. The cellar visit with its instructive commentaries displayed on giant screens retraces this history.
For those who want to live the experience of a great wine, from the conception to the realization of a delicious champagne, we recommend that you visit the House of Lanson, the only one that has a parcel of vines at the very heart of Reims.
The excursion "from the vine to the flute" begins by a walk in this vineyard before introducing, step by step, the Champagne method which transforms this sparkling wine into the queen of bubblies.
Inspired by the map of New York, the Mercier cellars (Épernay) promise some great surprises for visitors. Part of the 18 km at 30 meters below ground are aboard a little train. During this promenade, you will be able to see the monumental bas-reliefs sculpted by Gustave Navlet on the walls themselves, and the biggest wine barrel in the world.
Made in the 19th century, this huge barrel won the second prize, just behind the Eiffel Tower, at the Universal Exhibition of Paris in 1889. Mercier champagne stands out from the rest by its desire to produce a quality wine "for all occasions".