I am looking to gain information on a champagne tour in Reims. We are staying in Paris in January and looking for information for those who have done this themselves. Which champagne house tours are best? Which train to use? Other places to explore in Reims for the day. Thanks in advance.
What do you mean by "done this themselves?" Do you mean made their way from Paris to Reims on their own? Or do you mean went independently from Champagne house to Champagne house? If you mean the former, I have done that and the met up with a tour. For that we used Cris Event and they were excellent. If you mean going around town on your own, we have also done that. We took the train to Reims and then took a taxi to Taittinger and did their tour and then made our way to lunch and then to the cathedral. And then back to Paris by train -- it was a pretty perfect day trip. There used to be a champagne house within walking distance of the train station but I forget the name but you could do a Google search for champagne house near Reims train station. It's easy enough to get to Reims. You go to Gare de l'Est and catch one of the TGVs that stop in Reims. The trip takes about 45 minutes.
YMMV but I don't see a point in a tour or in going to more than one Champagne house cellar. It is easy to take the TGV in 45 minutes to Reims and then grab a tram or walk or take a taxi to a Champagne house for a cellar tour. We did Taittinger and it was great, but one was enough. https://janettravels.wordpress.com/2020/03/28/reims-cathedral-st-remy-and-taittinger/
If you want to do diverse tasting there are places near the Cathedral that offer flights and plenty of stores selling Champagne offering tastings
This is one where I don't see the value added of a tour. I can imagine it might be interesting to tour several small houses in Epernay.
Actually, the tour from Cris-Event was wonderful. The pick up was in Reims but we were driven to at least three small houses in the area. In fact, one of them was in the owner's house. I do not recall going to any of the larger houses like Taittinger on the tour and in fact we picked Cris Event for that reason having already done the large house tour. The other benefit is, of course, a designated driver because after going to three champagne houses that did generous tastings, I would never get behind the steering wheel of car and the houses were not easily accessible by mass transit.
We did a day trip by train. We walked from the station to the Surrender museum, which was our number one reason for heading there:
We also did the main cathedral, which was nice, but later wandered into this additional cathedral...Basilica Saint Remi, which was spectacular: https://france-world-heritage.com/saint-remi-basilica
We also did choose one of the champagne houses, based on the architecture I liked the most: https://vrankenpommery.tickeasy.com/en-GB/home
We walked this route from the train station and then back to the train station at the end of the day. I think the total mileage was about 9 miles.
It was a great day!!!!
Thank you Kath for posting the question.
This looks like a great day for us when we are in Paris mid Sept.
Thank you for all of the responses. What I mean by “on our own” is I tend to like to do my own Tours rather than going with a tour company, though I am open to that. I’m not sure which champagne house I should try, do they need to be pre-booked? Also should I pre-booked the train or is the train something I can just get the morning of? Thanks again!!
You do need to prebook to tour the big champagne houses. Choose one which includes the cellars as they are fantastic. I did Ruinart and it was great but lots of them seem to be well reviewed.
If you go out to Epernay (easy on the train or taxi) you can walk up and down the main street lined with champagne producers. Here you don’t enter the buildings but most serve drinks outside in the courtyard. There are also bars serving champagnes from smaller producers.
I think you’d need to do an organised tour to see the small producers as they aren’t regularly open to the public. Many are very small family businesses.
Is Epernay in anyway better than Reims? I haven’t been to either region and wondering the advantages of each.
There is no better as between Epernay and Reims in my opinion. They are different experiences. Reims is a bigger town with more non-champagne things to do like the cathedrals and museum mentioned above. It really is a matter of personal preference as to which one you think is better. Reims is a shorter train trip if that makes a difference.
hey hey kath27_99
couple years ago, 4 of us friends went to train store/shop (SCNF) and bought tickets to reims day before, taxi to train station and off we went. we did a tour with 2CV cars thru the town, out to vineyards, stopped at private house out in country for tasting then back to town.
i wanted to taste only local champagnes, not what i can buy in states.
we drove by the more famous caves, it was packed with no parking and lines out the door. i would have preferred to go to epernay in a taxi and tasted at the champagne houses with gardens opened, walking down avenue de champagne.
solosophie.com/things to do in epernay (also read up about best towns/villages in champagne)
had our tour guides drop us off at cafe du palais 14 place myron herrick reims
we had a flight of local champagnes and a chacuterie platter sitting outside tables, it was a fabulous and fun day, then back to station and ride back to paris.
if you like champagne & are in venice, we did a private tour of the prosecco road outside venice. lots of tasting at local houses, lunch at a small family owned trattoria up the mountainside. gorgeous country, fabulous guide/driver born and raised in the area. train back to venice with a few bottles to keep celebrating at our apt terrace. another fun and fabulous day.
You can do both Reims and Epernay. We went to Ruinart in the late morning then took a taxi to Epernay for the afternoon. Got the train back to Reims for dinner. On the second day we did a tour with a small producer. They’re no longer doing tours or I would recommend it.
The focus of the trip was the champagne so we didn’t do any other cultural activities beyond a quick wander and look in the cathedral. The town itself didn’t seem particularly interesting.
Don’t skip Epernay.
We toured Moet et Chandon, a wonderful experience.