Located northeast of Paris, the region of Champagne is where the world-famous French bubbles are produced. It’s a territory rich in beautiful landscapes and scenic routes dotted with picturesque villages and splendid vineyards that provide the three grape varieties used in the production of Champagne: Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and Pinot Meunier.
The region’s main hubs are Reims and Épernay, both easily accessible from Paris in approximately one hour by train. Epernay’s key attraction is Avenue de Champagne, a mile-long road lined with gorgeous buildings that house luxurious hotels and grandiose Champagne houses, including Moët & Chandon and Perrier Jouët. Reims, on the other hand, is a lively university town with several UNESCO World Heritage sites to explore, such as the old Saint Remi Abbey and the Notre Dame Cathedral, where the coronation ceremony of French kings used to take place.
Here’s our guide to some of the best Champagne houses in France. Most are open to the public, while others offer private tours by appointment only.
1 rue Albert Thomas, Reims I +33 326 895390 I veuveclicquot.com
Tours are available from April to October, Tuesday to Saturday, at the cost of €128 per person (min 2 persons) and include a tasting of four vintages.
5 rue Coquebert, Reims I krug.com
Unfortunately, Krug is not open to the public; private tours may be only available by either appointment or invitation.
Moët & Chandon
20 Avenue de Champagne, Épernay I +33 326 512000 I moet.com
28 Avenue de Champagne, Épernay I +33 326 533800 I perrier-jouet.com
Perrier-Jouët is one of France’s oldest Champagne houses, founded by Pierre-Nicolas Perrier and his wife Adèle Jouët in 1811. Located on the famous Avenue du Champagne in Épernay, their wines are made with Chardonnay grapes and distinctive floral notes and have been satisfying the palate of many illustrious customers throughout the centuries, including Napoleon III. What’s more, Perrier-Jouët has a strict connection to the world of art, as seen in the iconic Belle Epoque bottle designed in 1902 by famous artist Emile Galle and in the splendid Art Nouveau collection housed in the family private estate.
Sadly, Perrier-Jouët doesn’t offer tours to the public and private visits are generally available only for those in the industry.
1 rue de la Procession, Reims I charlesheidsieck.com
Charles Heidsieck founded his Champagne company in 1851, at the age of 29, and one year later he started an audacious marketing campaign in the United States, where his wine gained such a success that he started to be dubbed “Champagne Charlie”. Today Charles Heidsieck is one of the most popular Champagne brands in the industry and its award-winning wines are meticulously aged in a series of chalk cellars that date back to the 3rd century.
The Maison Charles Heidsieck doesn’t offer public tours; private tours may be only available by either appointment or invitation.
16 rue Jules Lobet, Ay I +33 326 533366 I champagne-bollinger.com
Maison Bollinger is open only to wine professionals and journalists, but the general public can send a request for a private tour via email.
4 rue des Crayéres, Reims I +33 326 775151 I ruinart.com
Tours are available from Tuesday to Saturday at the price of €70 per person, booking is required.
40 rue Carnot, Mareuil-sur-Aÿ I champagne-billecart.fr
Guided tours are available by appointment only, from Monday to Friday.