Putting a fizz into your trip

September 19, 2014

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Like the bubbles of champagne? You’ll love the champagne region of France!

Back in the Roman era, the region was known as Campania (Land of Plains) & it’s not difficult to see where it gets that name from, a vast agricultural area with stunning scenery and long standing French pride. Did you know that only produce grown in designated area and adhering to very strict aging and bottling standards can be called champagne?

With two main areas within the region to visit (& taste!), heading to this region can add sparkle to any weekend break away. If you’re looking for a weekend of tasting, head just south of Reims to Épernay. You can add some fizz to your trip, winding through the vineyards from one village to the next and experiencing the Champagne Route for yourselves.

Top tip 1: Don’t just head for the well-know brand champagne houses, but make sure you stop off at several of 5000 small scale vignerons along the way. Many carry traditions from generations and are still a family run operation today, welcoming visitors from all over the world.

Top tip 2: It’s not all about the bubbles – make sure you allow sufficient time in your itinerary to absorb the stunning scenery that will surround you. From forests and river-side trails, to the history held in the cities. The grand, gothic architecture of the cathedral in Reims is a recommended stop-off point.

Top tip 3: Looking to find out more about one of the champagnes that you’re familiar with? The famous house of Moët & Chandon can be found in Épernay. Dating back to 1743, the house welcomes you to visit its cellars and extensive estate of vineyards – the cellars span 28km & are the largest in the region.

Top tip 4: Head to Baulne en Brie, in the Marne Valley – one of the oldest villages in the region. There’s plenty of history here – step into the Church of Saint Bartholomew to find out what’s so special about its ceiling.

Top tip 5: Find out more about just what it takes to produce champagne with a tour at Musée de la Vigne et du Vin. Coming straight from the horse’s mouth (a family making champagn since 1872), this museum boasts a fantastic and imagination inspiring collection of champagne-making equipment – you can even catch sight of the impressive 1630 grape press, made from solid oak-beam and weight a huge 16 tonnes!

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