Wines: The Essential Guide to the Wines and Wine Growing Regions of France
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Champagne Wine Trail
The vineyards of the Champagne region start less
than 200 kilometres north-east of Paris, which (if you're in Paris
already) makes them a good place to go to for a weekend stay,
or even just for the day.
You'll explore a region full of charm, visit the magnificent cathedral
in Reims and meet some of the producers of the world-famous wine
that we call champagne...
Champagne is a wine (yes, it is a wine) which
is famed throughout the world: with its 34,000 hectares given
over to vines the Champagne region produces 10% of all French
wines, but provides a quarter of all exports of the precious liquid.
Often associated with prestigious marques (such as Veuve Clicquot,
Moët et Chandon, Ruinart, Krug, Pommery, Dom Pérignon and a host
of others…) it has for many years been an integral part of celebrations,
weddings, baptisms and banquets.
The Champagne Wine Trail is not without interest to visitors:
on your travels you will discover a happy, fun-loving region (especially
in the spring and summer months) in which you can enjoy pleasant
days out, visit Reims Cathedral or the old city of Troyes, enjoy
a gourmet lunch or dinner in a charming village and of course
sample lots of different champagnes! Almost all of the major producers
offer informative guided tours of their impressive cellars. And
you will also have the pleasure of meeting numerous smaller producers
who will offer you a sparkling welcome and whose wines are often
very good indeed, and much less expensive than those of the major
A brief history
In which, dear Reader, we tell of the
Invention (almost by chance) of a Sparkling Wine, and of the Establishment
of some of the great celebrated Champagne Houses.
The Champagne region produces mainly three types of wine:
champagne, still red wine, and rosé des Riceys. Here we're more
particularly interested in champagne itself.
The vineyards of the Champagne region
can be divided into five large areas: the Montagne de Reims, the
Marne Valley, the Côte des Blancs, the Côte de Sézanne and the
To gourmet visitors with limited time at their
disposal, we would recommend as a matter of priority the Montagne
de Reims and the Côte des Blancs districts: it is there that the
17 communes with the appellation grand cru are concentrated. Here
is our suggested itinerary:
Champagne Wine Trail
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