8. From Reims/Epernay: Private Gold Champagne Tasting Tour
During this private day, you will discover the famous "Côte des Blancs", Kingdom of Chardonnay Grand Cru and the historic hillsides of the Marne Valley listed as World Heritage Site by UNESCO where Champagne was born. Our discovery tour through the vineyards and villages of the "Côte des Blancs" passes in front of the "Château de Saran", a prestigious property of the LVMH group (owner of Dom Pérignon, Veuve Clicquot, etc.) and the production site of Champagne Moët & Chandon. A commented passage is also planned in the very famous "Avenue de Champagne" of Epernay, Capital of the Champagne vineyard, where the superb mansions and production buildings of the Champagne Houses Moët & Chandon, Perrier Jouët, Pol Roger, etc. are. Visit 2 families of independent growers with explanations on the Champagne making process, visit the presses, wineries and cellars. Taste many Grand cru/Premier cru Champagnes : natural Champagnes (without dosage), entra brut, old vines, vintages, aged in oak barrels, etc. Tastings are commented with tasting advice. In addition to the Champagnes, taste the essential Champagne alcohols and aperitifs : Ratafia, Fine de la Marne and Marc de Champagne from the Goyard Distillery which is the oldest in Champagne. The village of Aÿ-Champagne was the main center of the Champagne industry in the 16th century. The kings of France had their own wine presses here and the wines of Champagne used to be called “Wines of Aÿ”. The vineyard predominantly planted with Pinot Noir is classified as Grand Cru at the highest level of the Appellation. On our visit to a part of this historic village, we will discuss the vineyard management, the different grape varieties, the exceptional "Terroir" and sustainable viticulture. The tour includes a stop in front of the headquarters of the famous Champagne Houses in Aÿ such as Bollinger, Deutz and Ayala. Drive through other villages and vineyards classified Premier cru including Mareuil-sur-Aÿ where the Champagne Houses Billecart-Salmon and Philipponnat are located. When visiting Hautvillers called the “Cradle of Champagne”, enjoy a private tour of the Church where the grave of Dom Pérignon, known as the spiritual father of Champagne, is. In Hautvillers, we will also stop to enjoy the most magnificent panorama of Champagne overlooking the Marne Valley, where Dom Pérignon carried out his experiments in winemaking. It is the ideal place in the heart of the vineyard to take photos of you and this breathtaking landscape. For lunch, we have selected for you Champagne and dining bars appreciated by the locals in order to share this convivial moment*. On the menu, to accompany your Champagne (1 bootle for 2) for example: gourmet platters of charcuterie and cheese with bread and salad, ready-made farm meals, pâtés, regional biscuits and coffee. When booking your tour, please inform us if you have food allergies or have any dietary requirements. *Depending on the day of the tour, the lunch location may vary.