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As you head toward Reims, the landscape loosens and undulates, and the hills tantalize with vineyards that—thanks to la méthode champenoise—produce the world's antidote to gloom. Each year, millions of bottles of bubbly mature in hundreds of kilometers of chalk tunnels carved under the streets of Reims and Épernay, both of which fight for the title "The Champagne City." Long before a drink put it on the map, though, this area of northern France was marked by great architecture, and the chalk plains are also home to many of France's greatest medieval cathedrals, including those of Amiens, Reims, and Laon.
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