Can any of my follow Rick Steve's fans recommend guided tours in the Champagne or Burgundy wine regions that you have particularly enjoyed? We would like to visit maybe 6 places in each area responsibly, with someone else to do the navigation and driving! At this point we are not decided about whether to sleep in Dijon or Beaune for the Burgundy experience.
Haven't been to Champagne area but we just got back from Burgundy area. We stayed 4 nights in Beaune and loved it. Did day trip to Dijon which was fun.
We took a half day wine tour through Safari tours, booked through the tourist office. Also did winery visits to Bouchard and Patriarche right in Beaune.
This past May, we did a half-day tour out of Epernay with Ay Champagne Experience, stopping at two small champagne producers for tasting (and a tour at one) as well as the village of Hautvillers, where Dom Perignon invented champagne. The guide/owner is Isabelle Rousseaux. She was very knowledgeable and had a pleasant personality. I would recommend contacting her, as she is amenable to customizing tours.
You can go to on your own to Reims by train from Paris (or drive from wherever and park the car for the duration) and visit as many cave tours/tastings as you can fit in, walk or tram between them. If you spend a night, add at least a half day for Epernay by TER train from Reims. In Epernay, I only took the Mercier tour (the most fun tour of all). As I walked to Mercier along the Avenue de Champagne, it looked like at least a few of the champagne houses (they are all HQ'ed in Epernay these days) served their wines by the glass.
We had a marvelous tour via an Airbnb Experience. More than just wine...Burgundy/Beaune overview...hsitory, culture, wine, people. Just loved it! Check it out at Real Burgundy
We stayed in Reims and enjoyed the everyday champagne culture that is everywhere. At the Marche, at the Tabac, at the restaurants, at the champagne bar across from the cathedral. And if you plan ahead, you can take the English tours of some of the champagne houses that are located right in town.