Champagne: 2-7 June 2018
Surrounded by the beautiful champagne vineyards of the Reims Mountain (Montagne de Reims), you will visit smaller champagne houses (artisan boutique wineries) in nearby villages to taste and compare different styles as well as a fabulous visit to a prestigious champagne house. There are some top restaurants included in this trip.
REIMS, Saturday 2
The day focuses on the Gothic history of Reims, followed by a short premium tasting at Taittinger. Since Champagne is a product of excellence, and of course renowned as the universal symbol of festiveness, celebration and reconciliation it is a very pleasant way to start the discovery of the wines in Champagne.
REIMS - EPERNAY, Sunday 3
The morning takes in the Art deco scene in Reims. We will visit the recently re-opened and renovated Art Deco covered market, and then stop at the Musee des Beaux Arts where it’s collection of art spans 4 centuries and is awash with works from famous painters including Corot, Delacroix, Gauguin, Monet, Renoir and Matisse. In the afternoon we will have a tasting at Veuve Clicquot before heading to the city of Epernay and dinner at La Table Kobus.
EPERNAY, Monday 4
We’ll start the day by briefly stopping to discuss the Dom Perignon at his tomb stone in Hautvilliers. The importance of Hautvilliers should not be down-played. The roots and the reputation of today’s Champagne spread worldwide from this little town. In the afternoon we will hard down the main drag of Epernay - the Avenue de Champagne to the excellent visit offered at Moet et Chandon.
EPERNAY, Tuesday 5
Today will be fun and through the visits you’ll come off knowing a thing or two more about this industry and the area. The morning starts with a short river cruise before a visit and tasting at Boizel. After lunch we plunge again into a cave, this time with a twist: Patrice Legrand cultivates four hectares of grapes, but he has another passion - paleontology, and he has embarked on a crazy mission to present the geological conditions that create the unique minerality of champagne along with the incredible heritage of fossils lying beneath the vines. Late afternoon our 2nd tasting will take us to one of France’s favourite artisan Champagne Grand Crus - Gatinois.
EPERNAY - COLOMBEY LES DEUX EGLISES, Wednesday 6
Two exceptional tastings today from two family run houses. Champagne Albert Lebrun which is run by five brothers who are third generation descendants of the original founder (1860) and Champagne Charles Orban - this family has been growing grapes in Troissy, a village on the left bank of the Marne, upstream from Dormans, since 1770. In the late afternoon we’ll hit the road to the village of former French president Charles de Gaulle, Colombey les Deux Eglises, where we will spend the night.
COLOMBEY LES DEUX EGLISES - TROYES - REIMS, Thursday 7
After breakfast we’ll head to the talented female winemaker Nathalie Falmet for a tasting. Later we will head for Troyes to wander around and check out the town centre, which is graced with one of France’s finest ensembles of half-timbered houses and gothic churches. Often overlooked it’s one of the best places to get a sense of what France was like in the 16th Century!
The day will finish back in Reims where the guide will say au revoir.