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Suggestions for which wineries to visit in/near Reims for Champagne

Hi travel nerds! My fiancé and I are headed to Paris and Reims from March 29th to April 2nd. We have already been to Paris, so are only planning on spending the night of the 29th and 30th there. We have a food tour booked for Montmartre on the 29th and are super excited!

What we need help with is insight into which champagne sites to visit when we are in Reims. We will have two full days there and want to spend them exploring the area and tasting Champagne.

Pleas send any suggestions for Reims!

Posted by
1054 posts

Taittinger is a great one in the city. It’s a historic champagne house

Will you have a car? If so a short ride in the countryside to Troyes. You’ll find Champagne Bollinger. One of only 2 houses that ferments in Oak Barrels. More complexity and aroma.

This site has good information on house routes to visit www.champagne.fr

Posted by
40 posts

Robert,

We will not have a car, and will use public transportation or taxis to get around. Thanks for the suggestion!

Posted by
8157 posts

We took the TGV to Reims last spring and visited Taittinger for their cellar tour which we booked a couple days ahead. This was last minute and several of the houses had no room on their tours. Taittinger is a fairly easy walk past the Cathedral and near the wonderful Basilica of St. Remy (definitely make a few minutes to see this; the statues around the tomb of St. Remy are wonderful). If the walk doesn't appeal, the tram and the bus systems are easy to use and there is a stop near the Cathedral and near St. Remy and Taittinger. The Champagne houses are not set in the vineyards (they may be in Epernay, but not in Reims) When we booked the tour we were given a choice of how much Champagne we wanted to book; there isn't a 'tasting', but rather you get a glass or two at the end of the tour depending on what you booked. There are also places all over town to buy champagne. The cellar tour was very interesting and I got terrific pictures.

Posted by
2210 posts

We visited Reims in August prior to the start of the RS Eastern France tour. We arrived on a Saturday and did the city on foot. We did not make any reservations ahead, but had planned to visit Mumms, Tattinger and Martel. For whatever reason, contrary to advertisement, Muums was closed. If it is open and you plan on going, it's to the left as you exit the train station, in the general direction of the Museum of Surrender ( WWII). On Sunday we wanted to do Tattinger & Martel. Went to the TI to make reservations. They called Tattinger and the guide said hurry down because there was an English tour in 45 min. The staff also said that Martel's was closed ( a little language misunderstanding). RS guidebook says it's a 30 min.walk, so we walked as briskly as two seniors can and arrived in 15 minutes. Great tour - the caves were impressive. There is a short film before you start. We opted for ordinary champagne taste after. After we left, we walked near Martel and it was open - what is no longer open are the cellars. Several people in front of us buying LOTS of champagne. We opted for 2 tastings, ordinary and top of the line. Manager sat down with us and spent considerable time explaining the intracies of Champagne - getting up every now and then to have us try something else - it was fabulous and carrying the 2 bottles with us for 2 weeks was sooo worth it cause they don't ship much to the States. There is a bus with a stop about a block away that will take you further afield. We found it to be a very easy city to navigate. It is a univserity town and so August was a quieter time.

Posted by
40 posts

Thanks, Patty and Janett!

After my research, I'm a little confused about how the visits/tours work. We would probably only do one tour a day if they are all around €70 per person (this is what I've seen.... am I way off?), and would like to fill the rest of days with tastings! Is that something we could do by just walking up, or do we need reservations for tastings only?

Whew - so much to think about on this short trip!

Posted by
8157 posts

You should book a tour for some reasonable time for you. You can then just walk to the Cathedral and St. Remy to see those and to the Museum of Surrender if you are interested. (we did this 20 years ago at Christmas in the snow and it was a memorable museum then). ON the train back two guys across from us who had also done a Taittinger tour said they had just walked into VCP and done a tasting which they raved about. They had bought some and shared it with us on the train (they also had cups of ice). There are many shops and cafes all over that offer Champagne by the glass or tastings/purchases etc. YOu could easily enjoy a day built around the reserved cellar tour. Much as I loved the cellar tour, once and one was plenty.

Posted by
2210 posts

We just walked into Martel for the tasting and I'm pretty sure you could have walked into Tattinger and just done the tasting. At Martel's, we just waited until the manager was finished the purchases in front on us. Echoing Janet, we were satisfied with one cellar visit, but there are lots of shops that will be happy to let you taste and share their personal recommendations.

Posted by
129 posts

We took the Taittinger tour last year. They were only allowing those who were on the tour to do the tasting.

Posted by
15640 posts

Check the caves to see if the ones you're considering are open on Mondays or on Sunday, April 1 which is Easter.

I enjoyed spending a few hours in Epernay, by train from Reims. The Mercier tour is the most fun.

Posted by
2 posts

As a starting point, visiting any of the major champagne producers (expensive!) in Reims is a good idea,but if you have the ability to rent an auto, it's much more fun, scenic, informative and less expensive to drive out into the champagne countryside to visit the so-called grower-producers (who grow and make bubbly themselves). The big houses are blenders, taking grapes from several different vineyards. Anyway, the grower-producers will welcome you for free, and offer several samples, often in rather modest surroundings. One I can highly suggest is Champagne Jean Vesselle in the grand cru town of Bouzy (that's right). There are several other smaller houses in Bouzy, too. Have fun!

Posted by
129 posts

The problem with renting a car is that the driver cannot do the tastings.

Posted by
40 posts

Thanks for all of the suggestions! As Baxter said, we both want to enjoy the tastings, so if we need to, we will take a taxi. I've booked a tour at the Pommery cellar, and am working on some others!

Posted by
198 posts

Are taxi's available between the smaller cities, such as Hautvillers and Epernay?

Posted by
243 posts

I have toured Champagne Houses in two different occasions. Each time, we spent two nights in Reims. On one occasion we took the train to Epernay and spent the day. Perrier Jouet is amongst are favorites, partly because it was the first house we visited and also because the bubbly is so good.
Pommery was another of our favorites. The tour of the cellars and the art exhibits gave an additional twist to just the winemaking process. Their guides were great and hung out and talked about Champagne, the region and the wine, after everyone else on the tour had tasted the wine and left. Maybe we were lucky with the staff that were working that day.

Posted by
243 posts

I have toured Champagne Houses in two different occasions. Each time, we spent two nights in Reims. On one occasion we took the train to Epernay and spent the day. Perrier Jouet is amongst are favorites, partly because it was the first house we visited and also because the bubbly is so good.
Pommery was another of our favorites. The tour of the cellars and the art exhibits gave an additional twist to just the winemaking process. Their guides were great and hung out and talked about Champagne, the region and the wine, after everyone else on the tour had tasted the wine and left. Maybe we were lucky with the staff that were working that day.

Posted by
129 posts

Kate,
You can get a taxi at the Epernay train station and give the driver a set time to come back to pick you up.

Posted by
12172 posts

Mumm's has the best wine. You need a reservation but you can have your lodging or TI call for you and schedule an English tour normally within a couple hours.

Posted by
40 posts

I got a message from June about following up after our trip, so here it is!

We had a great and relaxing time in Reims. Some key takeaways:

  • Two cellar tours was MORE than enough. We loved Pommery was the best (and first). Our second cellar tour was Tattinger, and it was really cool, just not our favorite. Howerver, we did get an extra tasting at the end (they poured too much since there were some kids on the tour!)
  • The city shuts down on Sundays. Avoid Sundays at all costs.
  • I wish there were more places to go taste champagne from the area without visiting the cellars.
  • The food was pretty good - we went to a great pizza place called Pizza L'Antica. It was one of the only places open on Sunday.
  • Book your tickets for the train from Paris ASAP as they can get pretty spendy.