The champagne vineyards only occupy about 2% of the total wine producing regions of France, however they stretch over a large area from the Aube river to the town of Reims. It is strange that one of the more northerly wine growing regions in France should be responsible for such an excellent wine – this is down to a number of factors, including the chalky soil which helps to keep the vine optimally watered.
Great Champagne wines
The Champagne Grand Crus are: Ambonnay, Avize, Ay, Beaumont-sur-Vesle, Bouzy, Chouilly, Cramant, Louvois, Mailly-Champagne, le Mesnil-sur-Oger, Oger, Oiry, Puisieulx, Sillery, Tours-sur-Marne, Verzenay and Verzy. There are about forty Premier Crus.
Although it pains us to admit it, we’ve never spent much time in this area. Usually we just see it as we are rushing through on our way further south. Actually we did stop in the area, but it was a long time ago! At that time we noted that Reims is worth visiting, but we did our Champagne tasting in Epernay. Here all the champagne houses offered free visits (for children) with a small charge for tasting (adults only!). The producer of Champagne Mercier offered a fantastic visit through miles of underground cellars on a laser guided electric train. If you can add to our knowledge about Champagne wines, museums, wine tours, favourite producers etc. we’d love to hear from you!
Champagne specific websites
- The Richard Juhlin Champagne Club: http://www.champagneclub.com/start.aspx
- Moet et Chandon website: http://www.moet.com/
- Champagne – Cristal, Moet, Dom Perignon and more, next day delivery to your door: http://www.champagneuk.com/
Our favourite food and wine in France: