1st Visit France, Champagne

Old Mar 4th, 2000, 07:55 AM
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1st Visit France, Champagne

My wife and I are planning our first visit to France. We would stay 2-3 days in Reims, visiting the Champagne cellars, historic sites etc and a day trip to Epernay. I need help to organise this - anyone knows if there are such guided/packaged tours in Reims itself or is such a visit to Champagne region easily done?

Old Mar 6th, 2000, 05:17 AM
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It's rather easily done on one's own. However, you will need a car to get to the various champagne houses. Last year we visited and toured Mumm and Taittiger. We also went to Pommery but missed the tour, and Veuve Cliquoe. We were told at VC you need to make advanced reservations for the tour as they take you out to the vineyards. However, they allowed us into the tasting room and let us taste the 93 Vintage, which we promtly bought. There is a Reims website - www.ville-reims.com which may be useful to you, or write to the tourist center.
Old Mar 6th, 2000, 02:48 PM
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Wei: Can only comment on Epernay. We went off-season (in Nov-98), taking a train (1.5 hrs.?) from Paris. Walked from train station a short distance to the champagne information office, where we were given plenty of information on cellars, types of tours available at different wineries, costs, maps, etc.
We walked about 0.5 mile down a quiet (at that time of year) street, where many other 'houses' were, to the Mercier champagne house. Excellent tour & tasting. Longer tours at other houses were also available, according to the information center. Epernay is not a large town; has a small, but interesting shopping area. Pleasant area. Although we did not spend the night, it seemed like a nice place to relax and get away from the noise of Paris for a day or two.
Old Mar 6th, 2000, 03:22 PM
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There is a wonderful, although pricey, hotel in Champillon, very close to Epernay called the Royal Champagne. Fax them at 03-26-52-89-69. They are most helpful in suggesting champagne houses to visit in the area. The dining room is wonderful with excellent wine list. We spent one day in Reims, mostly to see the cathedral where all kings of France were crowned and then down the "Route du Champagne" to Champillon for two nights and then over to Alsace--Strasbourg and Colmar-- for another type of wine tasting. The champagne tours take a big chunk of time and they will not allow tasting without the tour. Do your research so you won't run out of time. Because this area was heavily bombed in WWI, there are not a whole lot of historic buildings to see, but the food and wine is super. The French Tourist Board is an excellent site for research.
Old Mar 7th, 2000, 04:12 AM
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Thanks to Lori, Steve and Kam for the information.

To Lori > Did you rent a car in Rei
Old Mar 7th, 2000, 05:05 AM
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Wei: No we did not rent a car in Reims, as a friend met us there who had one. however, I believe that there was a car rental counter at the train station. I would check with the tourist information center. Enjoy

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