Arriving in the Champagne region this morning, you and your private guide will start your day with the scenic Route du Champagne. It meanders among the vineyards and picturesque villages, offering a charming bucolic landscape. We take you to the Côte des Blancs for sightseeing of some of the most famous Grandes Maisons de Champagne such as: Bollinger, Gosset, Deutz, etc. The countryside is enameled with beautiful Grand Cru villages like Ay, Hautvillers, Bouzy, Le Mesnil, Vernezay, etc.
Guided tour of the Cathedral of Reims. Listed in the Unesco World Heritage, 13th century Notre-Dame de Reims Cathedral is one of Europe's most important Gothic structures. You will be captivated by the unique stained glass and the exceptionally rich statuary – over 2 300 statues including famous Smiling Angel. It is here that King Clovis was baptized around year 498 giving birth to the Kingdom of the Franks and starting a long lasting tradition: except two, all of the Kings of France would be crowned here!
Tour and "Bubbling" tasting at Veuve Clicquot producer since 1772. Founded in 1772 by Philippe Clicquot-Muiron, the house played an important role in establishing champagne as a favored drink of Bourgeoisie and nobility throughout Europe. After the death of her husband in 1805, Barbe Nicole Ponsardin known as the widow Clicquot (veuve in French) became the first woman to take over a Champagne house. Under Madame Clicquot's guidance, they revolutionized the techniques of Champagne making process... Therefore she was named “La Grande Dame de la Champagne”.
Tour and Grand Cru tasting You will visit a local domain where the family has been a vine grower since the 16th century and has produced Champagne under their own brand since 1875. They are located in the Grand Cru village of Ambonnay. They own 4 hectares of grand cru vineyard, especially renowned for their Pinot Noir. This allows them to produce 20 000 bottles, mainly sold in France. Far from the commercial aspect of the Grandes Maisons you will discover the ancestral methods and process of making champagne and meet passionate people.
Lunch (Optional tour and wine tasting lunch at a local domain is also available. Please let us know if that is your preference and we can add it to the proposal)
Guided tour of Hautvillers. After lunch, we take you to the Marne Valley and on a journey through the vineyard to meet with another prestigious figure: Dom Pérignon, who finalized the process to elaborate Champagne. He highly contributed to the fame of Champagne and is now buried in the church of the former Benedictine Abbey of Hautvillers.
Then you will enjoy the discovery of another face of Champagne with a tour and Champagne tasting at a family estate. The House was created in 1875 in the little village of Damery located in the Marne’s Valley. Laure and David are proud to be the Fifth generation of wine makers. They focus on the respect of both traditions and ancestral working methods. Their champagne Plaisir d’Antan is a good example of this philosophy: Made of a 100 percent Chardonnay, this Cuvée is aged in oak casks as it was before the creation of stainless steel vats, giving a unique taste to the Champagne. They work as independent wine makers with 12 hectares of vineyards and produce 80 000 bottles.