It’s time for Cham­pagne

‘Sip the stars’ as Napoleon once said as you en­joy this high­point of your trip

Better Homes and Gardens (Australia) - - September Contents -

Ex­plore the finest vine­yards of this charm­ing re­gion of France

Wan­der through the Cham­pagne re­gion’s finest vine­yards and dis­cover UNESCO her­itage-listed sites – it’s time to re­ally ex­pe­ri­ence the finest bub­bly, on your own terms.

cheers to this

A visit to this fa­mous French re­gion, just an hour’s train ride from Paris, is a bucket-list-tick­ing ex­pe­ri­ence. But to do so with LVMH’S lux­ury re­tail and ex­pe­ri­ence brand Clos19, is to be el­e­vated to a new level – and gives you ac­cess to ex­pe­ri­ences no other vis­i­tors can have.

The ex­trav­a­gance starts as you check in to the re­cently ren­o­vated Royal Cham­pagne Ho­tel and Spa, sit­u­ated just north of Eper­nay – the cen­tre of the Cham­pagne re­gion

– and then con­tin­ues as you are given pri­vate tours through Moët & Chan­don’s 270’s years of his­tory, Ruiniart’s World Her­itage listed crayères, or chalk gal­leries and Veuve Clic­quot’s most ex­clu­sive drops. The lux­ury con­tin­ues af­ter the tours have fin­ished with meals at the re­gion’s most awarded restau­rants. Cham­pagne done in style, with a very cham­pagne bud­get. To book your tour to Cham­pagne with Clos19, go to clos19.com.

When your time is tight

It’s pos­si­ble to visit the wine-mak­ing re­gion as a day trip out of Paris. Paris City Vi­sion runs small group day tours that pick you up at your ho­tel for an in­dul­gent spin through Cham­pagne. You’ll take in the rolling val­leys and

bell tow­ers of the 45 dif­fer­ent vil­lages found here, taste the fruits of a small lo­cal pro­ducer cre­at­ing bot­tles of re­fined bub­bles and dine on salmon and coq au vin with the lo­cals dur­ing a tra­di­tional lunch in Eper­nay.

The tour can also be booked pri­vately if you and your trav­el­ling com­pan­ions want to sip through the coun­try­side at your own pace. Visit www.parisc­i­tyvi­sion.com/en/ reims-cham­pagne-minibus.

and there’s more

If you want some­thing more tai­lored to your spe­cific wants, Cham­pagne Tour will help you cre­ate a be­spoke overnight ex­pe­ri­ence in Reims. Or, if you’re look­ing for rec­om­men­da­tions, their Château Cham­pagne and Pinot Noir Tour will take you through the Mon­tagne de Reims re­gion in the north east of Cham­pagne. This re­gion has more grand cru vine­yards than any other, so you know what’s in your flute will be de­li­cious.

The re­gions two most pop­u­lar towns, Reims and Eper­nay, are here but it’s of­ten the small vil­lage Hautviller­s that at­tracts at­ten­tion. The abbey here is where Dom Pierre Pérignon lived and cre­ated the first fizzy wine. This tour takes you to some of the lesser known cel­lar doors, such as Pom­mery, and of­fers a lunch and stay in a ho­tel that’s straight from fairy tales. Château de Rilly is re­splen­dent with for­mal gar­dens and wide ter­races to take in the views as the sun sets over the val­ley, with a glass in hand. See cham­pagne-tour. com/overnight-dis­cov­ery.html.

Here’s to you – sun­set over the vine­yards of Mon­tagne de Reims.

There’s much to do in the vil­lage of Eper­nay, cen­tre of the Cham­pagne re­gion. What an ex­pe­ri­ence, go­ing deep into the cel­lars where fa­mous vin­tages were made and stored. What­ever cham­pagne you taste, you’ll be sup­ping the best – lov­ing that! Your visit in­cludes a tour of Château de Saran, built by Jean-remy Moët, one of Napoleon’s close friends.

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