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One champagne tour in Reims

Old May 6th, 2015, 04:03 AM
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One champagne tour in Reims

I'll be spending one full day in Reims this summer (as a side trip from Paris). I plan to visit the cathedral and also have a long-ish lunch, and so will only have time for one champagne tour. Is there one that stands out above the others that you would recommend? I've heard particularly good things about both Pommery and Ruinart but would be interested in additional guidance. Thanks!
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Old May 6th, 2015, 10:57 AM
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I did a similar trip in early January and made a reservation for the tour at Mumms because it was closest to the train station and I didn't want to worry about taking a taxi, bus or a long walk in case of rain or very cold weather.

My daughters and I really enjoyed the Mumms tour. Lasted about two hours with a visit through the cellars and a tasting at the end.

I have heard that Veuve Cliquot is very good, but I have never experienced.

Reims is an easy day trip from Paris. It's a nice change of pace from Paris and the cathedral beautiful!
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Old May 6th, 2015, 11:18 AM
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I doubt that any of us has taken every champagne tour in Reims to be able to compare them. I was very happy with the Taittinger tour, but I suspect that I would have been happy with any of them. Ignorance is bliss.
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Old May 6th, 2015, 12:08 PM
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I have done the Veuve Cliquot, Mumm and Moët ( Moët is in Epernay) Veuve Cliquot was fabulous, I would say more upmarket and had more of a wow factor than the Mumm one.... ( although that was still good)
I have heard that the caves at Pommery are fab but as Kerouac says, I am sure they are all good!
The cathedral is gorgeous and well worth a visit.
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Old May 6th, 2015, 12:34 PM
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I enjoyed the Taittinger and Veuve Cliquot tours - my favorite of the two Taittinger. We had a great day in Reims. You'll love it!
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Old May 6th, 2015, 12:55 PM
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The Reims tourist office used to have a list of such tours with a symbol of those that gave free tastings at the end - I always wanted that - maybe now since I think they charge more for entry they may all include some comp bubbly - but prices from the factory are no bargain or were not the last time I was there - many moons ago. but I doubt if the tours or especially the caves have changed much.
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Old May 6th, 2015, 01:11 PM
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The only reason I went to Taittinger was because I arrived with my brother and sister-in-law by car from Paris. We visited the cathedral (a must) and then went to the tourist office right next door. We just asked them "when is the next tour we can take in English?" -- since my SIL doesn't speak French -- and they just had a big notebook with all details of every tour in the region. Taittinger was having a English language tour in 20 minutes, so we went there.
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Old May 6th, 2015, 01:12 PM
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We did the tour at Mumm in March, also as a daytrip trip to Reims, and thought it was a very good experience. As a matter of fact we were the only 2 for the 10:00 am English tour, so it was a private tour. We walked from the train station, then afterwards walked to the Cathedral, and had a nice lunch, with another glass of bubbly.
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Old May 6th, 2015, 01:39 PM
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another sight not to miss IMO in Reims is the War Room, in a former girls' school - anyway very close to the train station - this is where the Allies plotted the final assault on Germany - name placards still on the tables and war maps still on the walls. Called the Museum of Reddition (Surrender) this is also where in May of 1945 the German high command surrendered to the Allies, ending the European Theater of Operations in WW 2.
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Old May 6th, 2015, 02:02 PM
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What I posted on another recent thread on this topic:

I enjoyed the tour and tastings at G.H. Martel very much.

Here are the notes that were in my 2010 itinerary (don't remember where I copied them from):

"Gives a homey contrast to Taittinger's big-business style. Small operation with less extensive caves and w/o doubt the best deal in town! Most personal and best value tour."

17 rue des Creneaux

9 euro, 45 min tour w/ tasting of 3 different champagnes
Daily 10am - 1pm and 2pm - 7pm
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Old May 6th, 2015, 03:04 PM
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Very helpful, thanks everyone. Usually I would go the route of playing it by ear once we arrive but I've heard that tours do fill up in peak season (and we'll be there in July). I'm not a huge champagne fan and not planning to buy, but am definitely interested in learning about the process and seeing the caves. The Ruinart tour is 70 euros (which includes 2 glasses), which seems shockingly expensive to me, so I was wondering if it was really that different than the others.
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Old May 6th, 2015, 03:41 PM
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DH and I always liked Pommery
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Old May 6th, 2015, 03:54 PM
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We were in Reims in late September. My husband and I went to the Cathedral of St Remi and our companion went to a nearby champagne house. We all took the bus together to that part of town.

St Remi was one of the best churches I have ever been in; just amazingly gorgeous. I am a cathedral collector and I rate St Remi in my top few, ever. Stained glass and galleries that left me breathless.

Our friend was disappointed in the champagne tour and wished she had come with us instead.

St Remi is a little out of the way but so worth getting to.

Honestly, I would drink champagne and go to St Remi.
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Old May 6th, 2015, 04:26 PM
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We went to Reims a few years back. It wasn't a nice weather day and so we chose a very close to the train station champagne "house"; Charles de Cazanove in the Place de la Republique. We enjoyed the champagnes and the tour and as there were just us and a young man on the tour, we struck up a friendly conversation about wine, American politics, and China, his home country. We spent over an hour imbibing and chatting in what turned out to be a very pleasant afternoon.

Charles de Cazanove also gave a generous serving of 3 for a reasonable price; although I don't remember what it was.
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Old May 6th, 2015, 06:32 PM
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The price for our Mumm tour was 60 Euros each, but they had several options, based on the champagnes you chose to taste. 2 glasses. I doubt we would have gone to more than one, since I had no great desire to visit more than one cave and hear the process again. Our host told us about a bar where we could sample a variety of other champagnes but after the cathedral, and our long lunch where we did have a few more glasses of champagne, the bar was closed for the afternoon, and we had a train to catch before it opened again. We also had a glass of champagne in the train station bar/cafe.

And do go see the WWII museum; we sort of stumbled on it and I think it was a highlight for DH's trip. It was a fascinating bit of history we had not planned on visiting.
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Old May 6th, 2015, 08:43 PM
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The Ruinart tour at least when we took it 3 years ago was a longer tour. I think we were there about 2.5 hours so keep that in mind. Most of the other tours are around an hour or so. I believe Ruinart's groups are smaller and at the end we could choose from any of their champagnes to taste. Book early if you decide to do this one.
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Old May 6th, 2015, 09:43 PM
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My husband and I went to the Cathedral of St Remi

The only cathedral in Reims is Notre Dame. Saint Rémi is an abbey with a basilica.

For visiting Taittinger, we paid 10€, but this was at least 3 years ago. All champagne tours offer tasting at the end. And they even have soft drinks for people who don't drink champagne.
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Old May 7th, 2015, 08:07 AM
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Lanson is our favorite champagne. It is what we had for our wedding. So when we were going to Reims we arranged a tour of their facilities. It was a while ago in March. We arrived and pressed the bell in the long wall encircling the property. Someone asked what we wanted and we told them who we were and why we were there. We were buzzed in and followed the walk to the large lobby. It was totally deserted. We waited about 5 minutes and saw no one. Then a woman came down the staircase and informed us that they were closed on Fridays in March but we had asked for a tour and she would conduct it. So the three of us wandered around the place and she admitted that she took us places not on the normal tour because they were in operation. Then at the end she opened a full bottle of Lanson, we bought some bottles of the rose we had never had and went off for lunch at Le Crayeres. The tour was free.
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Old May 7th, 2015, 09:40 AM
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Thinking back on the trip I mentioned, I think it took place in November or December. Tours in high season are probably priced completely differently.
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