Sampling wines in the Champagne region

Nature
The wow factor for nature - does it show nature at its best? Doesn't need to be the wilder-beast migration or diving with hundreds of hammerheads. Rather make you pause as you realise just how awesome the natural world can be
7
Culture
How much does this experience showcase some of the better and finer things that us humans can offer? Sure, it can be ancient ruins and renaissance churches, but it can also be festivals or soaking up some of the great modern cities of the world
9
Fun factor/activity
Very simple - was it fun? This is usually linked in with doing some kind of activity - i mean, walking along some cliffs is nice, but paragliding from them, now that is fun. Its a vastly underrated factor in a truly great experience
9
Avoid the crowds
Big tour groups and being surrounded by loud fellow tourists can sap the life out of even the greatest of travel experiences. This score is to reflect just how much you can avoid this. But. . . The score also takes into account if the crowds actually add to the experience, such as with a party town or a bustling food market
7
World famous
How world famous is the experience?
9
unique
How hard is it to have a similar experience in other places round the world?
8
Overall Score
The highest score of nature or culture, + fun factor, + avoid the crowds, + the highest score of world famous or unique. Then turned into a score out of 100. More details at the bottom of the page
85 *What the scores mean and where do they come from
continent
Europe
country
France
Length of time
1-2 days
Rough cost
Obviously people have different tastes, so this will depend on those tastes, but this is a rough idea of price of the whole experience based on 2 people able to split the accommodation costs and excluding travel there and back
$ 200
Time of year visited
July
Primary Tags
Click on any of the tags to see all travel experiences with the same tag
RANKING
How this travel experience ranks compared to all the other experiences on this site
16th/359 This travel experience's ranking compared to all the other experiences on this site
Top 5% SUMMARY RATING: Unmissable

Summary

Driving through the rolling countryside or wandering through the Champagne-mad streets of Reims and Epernay, stopping at cellars ranging from small family run wineries to some of the largest and famous in the world, all whilst sampling and learning about how the crème de la crème of drinks is made.  Spending a few days in the Champagne region is a world-class experience and one that should be right at the top of the priority list when visiting France

highlights

#1 Heading into the deep and vast cellars of the likes of GH Mumm and Tattinger

#2 Learning how the Champagne is made, and the subtle differences between the different makers

#3 Driving through the beautiful Champagne countryside, with its low rolling valleys and UNESCO World Heritage listing

#4 Checking out the Notre Dame Cathedral of Reims

#5 Wandering through the pretty, and Champagne-mad, towns of Reims and Epernay

Travel Tips

  • Driving routes – I’ve added the photo for the 3 different route options.   Honestly, whilst there are of course differences in the wines and the views, all are wonderful
  • Which wineries – we visited a few and found the quality to be superb wherever we went, which is a reflection of the standards expected of the region.  The only key tip I’d give is to try and a see a variety – at least one of the big houses (we loved Tattinger) and one of the smaller ones (we loved those around the small village of Le Mesnil-sur-Oger)
  • Staying in Reims / Epernay or outside of the towns – both are wonderful.  If staying in Reims / Epernay, you have the benefit of what are very attractive city centres with sites such as the Notre Dame Cathedral and many of the world’s most famous wineries (Tattinger, GH Mumm, Veuve Clicquot in Reims; Moet & Chandon in Epernay).  If staying in the surrounding countryside, you have the ambiance of rolling hills and peaceful days.  If had to choose, I would suggest the surrounding countryside as they give you those lovely peaceful evenings with the easy day options of heading into Reims and Epernay
  • Reims or Epernay – visit both as they are only 30mins from each other.  I would lean towards Epernay as my preference is for quieter spaces rather than a city, which is what Reims is.  But, we also stayed in Reims and had a great time
  • Should you drive? – yes

Experiences nearby

The below map shows experiences nearby with a colour that reflect the Overall Score of those experiences

Score Detail

Background - how many times have you asked someone what a travel experience was like and the response was "amazing" or "awesome"?  That response is nice to know, but it makes it hard to differentiate that experience compared to others.  That is exactly what these scores are trying to do - differentiate the experience by giving a score out of 10 based on 6 categories and then giving an overall experience score

This overall experience score is calculated by:  take the highest of the "Culture" or "Nature" score (1-10) + "Fun factor" (1-10) + "Avoiding the crowds" (1-10) + highest of the "Unique" or "World Famous score" (1-10).  Then convert into a score out of 100

Extra detail - the logic being that I find all of the 6 individual scores important, but I don't want to mark an experience down just because it doesn't cover both "Culture" and "Nature", or because it isn't both "World Famous" and "Unique".  Take the examples of Safari in The Serengeti and walking through Rome - they both appeal at opposite ends of the nature / culture spectrum, and you can have a fantastic time without needing to appeal to both sides.  So, their overall scores aren't penalized for their lack of one or the other, and I've done the same for "World Famous" vs "Unique".  But . . . I do think that the "Fun factor" of an experience is important, irrelevant of other factors, and so is "Avoiding the Crowds" (or where there are crowds that add to the experience).  So, both of these scores are standalone