Known as the Champagne Capital of the World, the city of Epernay is home to world-class Champagne houses and the splendid Avenue de Champagne, an emblematic one-kilometer long street lined with maisons de Champagne, hôtels particuliers (magnificent 19th century town houses) and trading houses.
Renowned Champagne houses are wonderfully prepared to welcome visitors and ensure they have a fantastic time learning about the most famous sparkling wine in the world. Tours in Champagne are available daily in most languages for everyone to fully understand the secrets behind bubbles. All maisons de Champagne count expert guides among their staff who lead the tours: visits usually cover the vineyards (a 66-meter-high tower at one of these Champagne houses offers an outstanding panorama of the surrounding vines), the wine-making facilities, the hundreds of kilometers of underground galleries (and their millions of bottles of aging Champagne), and they finish off with a much-awaited Champagne tasting.
No two maisons de Champagne are the same: some house museums with unique collections of historical champagne artifacts; while others take you to the heart of their vaulted cellars in an underground train, to unveil some of the secrets of their twice-fermented wines in the fascinating environment where the process takes place. These maisons strive to ensure that you get to experience an absolutely unique Champagne tour. One of these outstanding Champagne houses has an extraordinary surprise for visitors as they walk in to the reception: the world’s biggest wine barrel (which can contain the equivalent of 200,000 wine bottles) takes up the room once you cross the entrance door. This legendary wine cask won the second prize at the 1889 Universal Exposition in Paris; the first place went to the Eiffel Tower!
Make sure you include a few Champagne houses in your visit to the region as each one will amaze you with incredible experiences and superb champagne tastings.