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Best of Eastern France: Which Champagne Houses in Reims?

Hi everyone- We’re excited for our Best of Eastern France tour in Spring 2024 and wondering if any tour alumni can share any insight about what your tour experienced on Day 2 in Reims per this description: “This afternoon we'll learn about this region's most famous product — Champagne — with a tasting courtesy of a local producer.”
We’re totally fine with whatever unfolds on the tour itinerary but are looking at booking pre-tour activities and are looking at some Champagne house tours. We’d love to avoid double booking anything that’s included on the tour if possible. Thanks all!
pgk

Posted by
210 posts

We did this tour May of 2023. Great tour. We were very fortunate to have Steve Smith as our tour guide. He wrote the RS France tour book. On day 2 we did a walking tour of Reims, in the afternoon we went to Martel via bus (some of us walked back) and then dinner on our own. My husband and I had pre-booked a Mumm tour before the tour started which I would recommend. We really enjoyed Reims - we got to Reims late Saturday morning and our tour starting Sunday at 4. I would highly recommend you visit the Museum of the Surrender pre-tour. It is a small museum but well worth it. We also really enjoyed the light show at the Cathedral which was an optional activity after dinner the first night. Feel free to ask me any questions about the tour.

Posted by
11368 posts

We went to nearby Epernay and toured Moet e Chandon, very interesting, went down in their cellars, later had some samples, tastes.. A sign stated that Napoleon had also toured them.

Posted by
2238 posts

Our RS Tour went to Martel as well. We arrived early in Reims for the tour and did an English speaking tour at Tattinger. We went through their cellars, which were fascinating. At the time, Martel’s cellars were closed. Not knowing which Champagne house would be on the tour, we stopped by Martel on our own as it was very close to Tattinger. We were the only ones in the tasting room, so the host sat and chatted with us as we tried several offerings. Sadly, they weren’t shipping internationally back then, so we ended up shlepping 2 bottles for the duration of the tour, but it was so worth it.

By the end of our Eastern France tour we were carrying 4 bottles - the 2 Martel, a signed bottle from Chateau Reuilly and a signed bottle from Domaine Mourchon. We’ve since been able to find Chateau Reuilly at Total Wine and Domaine Mourchon has a wine merchant in Chicago.

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6104 posts

I am a pretty committed to the RS guides for my travel. However, for our September 2023 trip which included Mosel, Germany, and Champagne, the recommended wineries in the guides were no longer small, quaint operations. We walked into Schwarze Katz, in Mosel and commented that we found their winery in the RS guide and the woman commented that they were too busy and wished they would be taken out. That said, it is on a nice location with tables right on the river.

One winery from the guide that we did really enjoy was Champagne G.Tribaut à Hautvillers, "home town" of Dom Perignon. It is no longer small and charming, but the staff was great, wine good and view exceptional. The town, itself, is charming and worth a stroll. In Reims, we went to Martel. Again, it was not the charming place we were expecting, but the tour of the caves (with about 30 people) was interesting and the tasting was informative. The place that surprised us, that we really enjoyed was recommended by the Reims TI, Trésors de Champagne, its close to the train station, right in town, and they represent a bunch of independent champagne houses. It was reasonably priced and they sold wines by the glass, or would construct a tasting based on the visitor's preferences. When we left my husband commented that some of the wines we tried were quite pricey by the bottle, making the tastings quite a value.

We found the Reims TI, extremely helpful. They gave us a map with sites, the tip on the champagne shop, and other helpful suggestions.

Posted by
7 posts

Thanks everyone, exactly the feedback I was hoping for. Happy 2024 travels!

Posted by
246 posts

We also arrived on Saturday and spent the day exploring including the Museum of Surrender. We visited Mumm and enjoyed it. The hotel booked the tasting for us. It was in the fall and harvest and crush time. The Eastern France tour is probably my favorite of many Rick Steves tours. We had Julie and loved her.

Posted by
11 posts

We LOVED this tour. We booked a Mumms tour right after the RS tasting. We took a cab. After you leave Reims make sure you drink Cremant, sparkling wine. Colmar was a highlight

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11 posts

The eastern France tour is awesome. We went Mumms just after the RS tasting on the tour. We took a cab. The rest of the trip we often drank Cremant which is a sparkling wine. I’ve done five tours and this was a favourite.

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1196 posts

I’ve been to Ruinart and it was a great experience. Very fancy, like going into a stately home or luxury hotel. The caves are very impressive.

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9902 posts

I've been to Ruinart. And have drunk a decent amount of Ruinart. It's spectacular — both the wine and the place.

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2 posts

5/29/24
Four of us did a tasting at Mumm in Reims. We found our tour guide, as well as several other employees, to be unfriendly, insincere and unhelpful. The guide was very difficult to understand and uninterested in answering questions. We tasted one champagne that was good with no explanations given (28 euros each for the glass and tour). Not recommended.