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Champagne tasting in Reims

I am an American living in west Germany. I have a friend visiting soon and we plan to drive to Reims, France (we're very lucky and it's only a 3 hour drive). We will only be staying one night (plan to leave early to drive there), but are hoping to tour some wineries. As we'll be drinking, we were hoping we could take the train to various wineries (no drinking and driving worries). Has anyone done this? Is it feasible to take the train to various wineries? Also wondering about recommendations for the best places to tour, and any guidance on scheduling (I'm not sure how long it takes to tour a winery, so I don't know how many to schedule or how far apart to schedule them). I'd appreciate any hotel recommendations too! Thank you so much for any guidance you can provide.

Posted by
183 posts

I made a day trip to Reims from Paris a couple of years ago. There is a good bus system within the city and many visitors take cabs to the champagne houses as well. I'd suggest touring the cathedral and stopping at the T.I. office near the cathedral for suggestions/help. We toured the Martel winery one of the smaller and more family run wineries and enjoyed it very much. Lasts about an hour. We rode a bus from the city center as suggested by the T.I. office who gave good directions. Bus is very inexpensive. Google "Reims champagne" to see what options for champagne tours come up. I've heard of Mumms and Taitinger and several other larger houses with slicker type tours. Many people give them good reviews on Rick Steves and Trip Advisor. Many of the wineries allow advance reservations. There is also a pedestrian only main street with lots of shops and restaurants.

Posted by
415 posts

Slightly off topic, but have you considered Epernay if you don't want to drive to the wineries? I went there on a day trip from Paris mostly because I did not want to have to deal with a larger town and long distances. In Epernay we walked up and down the main avenue, Avenue de Champagne, and visited several houses there including Moet and Chandon. There is a price for the tour at Moet depending on what type of champagne you want to taste and you should reserve in advance using their website. We did three tastings in the morning - about one every hour at three different houses. In the afternoon we found a local winery that picked us up in town and took us out to their vineyard and then to their little winery for tasting. They then drove us back to town. That cost 25 euro. There were many more places in Epernay where we could have stopped for a tasting however, the servings were not really "tastes" - more like full glasses so there was a limit to what we could manage! Anyway, this is a suggestion as an alternative to Reims where the distances seemed much greater between wineries. I don't think it's as feasible to do wineries by train. They are out in the countryside.

Posted by
415 posts

Correction - I mean there are champagne houses in easy walking distance of each other in Epernay and we walked from the train station to the Avenue de Champagne. The actually wineries - i.e. vineyards - are in the countryside and I don't think those are accessible by train.

Posted by
3 posts

Thank you so much for your tips! I chose Reims arbitrarily, but I've also heard good things about Epernay. I'm going to look into getting a hotel there. Again, I so much appreciate the help of you guys!!

Posted by
3 posts

Does anyone have any hotel recommendations for Epernay?

Posted by
11613 posts

Reims is a great city, at least daytrip in if you decide on Epernay. The RS giudebook for France lists several champagne houses in Reims. I did the TI-recommended tour and was not impressed with the wine.