In North-Eastern France, Champagne is the most famous wine growing region in the world. Always popular with European travelers, our London Travel Managers have planned the perfect Champagne getaway for the luxury-loving oenophile.
The Lay of the Land
Champagne wine comes from a cluster of wine growing districts focused on the lazy Marne River in France’s Champagne-Ardenne region. This is a historic and beautiful region of France, on the border with Belgium.
With so much to do and see across the region, our Travel Managers suggest you contain your trip to the Marne department of Champagne-Ardenne. It is here you can find the best vineyards, as well as the unofficial capital of the area, the ancient city of Reims, where you will stay during your trip.
Reims, historically the city of the consecration of French kings, is a fantastic place to wrap oneself in Gallic culture. A fantastic place to start is to book into the Domaine les Crayères. This 5-star luxury chateaux is only a few minutes’ walk from Basilique Saint-Remi, a stunning abbey of tremendous historical importance.
Your fine wine experience will start sooner than you expect should you stay at the Domaine Les Crayères. Their in-house chef is Michelin Star winner Phillipe Mille and their dedicated sommelier will help you choose from a cellar of 600 champagne labels.
With such incredible food, be sure you work up enough of an appetite first! Any exploration of Reims must include a tour of Place du Parvis, the town-centre’s major square over which the stunning Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Reims towers in 13th Century gothic splendor.
But gothic is not all this town has to offer. Just across the square is another architectural delight – the sublime Art Deco interiors of the Bibliothèque Carnegie. With such excellent cultural heritage, it is easy to see why Reims is twinned with Florence.
The Famous Grapes
Of course, our Travel Managers could not let you visit Champagne country without a wine tour or two. There are dozens of fantastic vineyards and houses to choose from but here are two of our favourites.
Taittinger is a big name in Champagne, but this doesn’t mean their cellar will not offer an authentic tasting experience. On the contrary, Taittinger give one of the best tasting experiences in the region.
In the ancient vaults underneath a ruined abbey, Taittinger store champagne in the same cellar used by Benedictine monks in the 13th century. Here you can taste their famous bottles: the Grand Crus of the Prélude, the Prestige Rosé and the fantastic Brut Vintage. You will, of course, hear the accompanying story of each wine you try, made magic by the setting and the talent of your hostess.
If you are looking for an experience of one of the smaller vignerons, our Travel Managers will book a tour of the fabulous La Cave Aux Coquilages. This small house in the small village of Fleury-la-Rivirère is a short, beautiful drive down towards the Marne from Reims.
The winemakers here have a geo-oenological approach, meaning they study the soil and geography of their vineyards in great detail to produce fantastic wines. But this fascination with the earth runs even deeper than grapes at La Cave Aux Coquilages. In the cellars is a fantastic subterranean collection of fossils built up by the father of the current owner, Thibault Legrand.
To go on this magnificent Champagne getaway, all you have to do is call Simplexity today on 0203 535 9290. Our dedicated London Travel Managers will arrange all the details, so that you can simply relax, taking in the rolling Champagne countryside, drinking in the history, and the wine, with a glass in hand.
We look forward to hearing from you.