Trying champagne in champagne cellars is fun
Advertisement - Kilometers of underground passages certainly suggest a treasure. But it doesn't always have to be gold and precious stones. For true champagne lovers, the millions of champagne bottles that are stored in such aisles, protected from light and heat, are more precious than a jewel. These treasures can best be admired in one of the largest champagne houses between Reims and the Épernay. A region in France, in which the knowledge of this special pleasure is still upheld.
The Mercier winery: a touch of tradition
The 30 kilometer long winery extends 18 meters below the chalk soil of the Épernay. If you want to visit them, you can enjoy the ride through the vault in a small train. After this experience you can go straight to the surface of the Champagne to be tasted. Nevertheless, the Mercier winery is not only known for its champagne. In the 19th century he had a huge barrel built, which was presented at the World Exhibition in Paris in 1889: It was nominated for second place - directly behind the Eiffel Tower.
Moët & Chandon Winery: One of the most prestigious champagne houses
There is hardly anyone who does not associate the name “Moët & Chandon” with first-class champagne. The long history and the extensive cellar labyrinth already inspired Napoleon and still enchant their visitors today. The winery, which is located under Avenue de Champagene in Épernay, is around 28 kilometers away. Those who decide to visit can choose between different tours and look forward to the tasting at the end.
The Vranken-Pommery winery: art and pleasure
Not far from Reims Cathedral, the winery is in Elizabethan style. It was built by Madame Pommery in the 19th century and is still enchanting today. The estate itself comprises 120 chalk quarries and 18 kilometers of underground passages. But instead of a simple vaulted cellar, visitors can expect impressive frescoes, which are rounded off at the end of the tour by an art exhibition that changes every year.
Veuve Clicquot winery: a pioneering champagne house
In 1810, when the art of champagne was still reserved for men, Barbe Nicole Ponsadin created her own vintage. Since then, her name has established itself and is directly associated with excellent champagne. A tour of the Maison in Reims should therefore not be missed. By the way: the winemaker invented her own method to clarify the champagne - the so-called remuage.
The Ruinart winery: champagne with magic and tradition
The bottles from Maison Ruinart are stored at 11 degrees Celsius at a depth of 38 meters under the chalk quarries near Reims. It is the oldest maison in Champagne, which was founded in 1729 and has been a listed building since 1931. A visit is not only worthwhile to look at the countless bottles of the excellent champagne: Generations of craftsmen have decorated the chalk with numerous tiny sculptures.
Taittinger winery: a champagne with a past
The Maison Taittinger is located in a place in Reims that inspires with its history: as early as the 13th century there was a monastery of the same name on Place Saint-Nicaise, the remains of which are still visible today. This ambience enables visitors to travel back in time, as the chalk quarries of the Gallo-Roman era are part of the UNESCO World Heritage. The Taittinger winery is just as connected to the old tradition: Even today, the family trusts the ancient knowledge to produce really excellent champagne. After a tour, this champagne can be tasted and enjoyed directly at a tasting.
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Photos of the champagne cellars: Copyright Monika Fuchs, TravelWorldOnline