Hi! Thinking about a quick visit to Champagne when we visit Paris in May. Any thoughts on Épernay vs. Reims/

Not looking to visit a ton of producers….but perhaps one special visit…and then time to see the vineyards or enjoy a great lunch.

in a dream, I’d love to visit Selosse, Laval or Ledru….but who am I?

Thank you in advance for any and all tips.

Editing my comment now that this thread has been moved …

Here’s a thread with our experience on a day trip from Paris … https://www.wineberserkers.com/forum/viewtopic.php?p=3356852#p3356852

Visit to Burgundy and Champagne - WINE TALK - WineBerserkers [see post six for our visit to Champagne.] If you go to Reims, definitely visit Ruinart and Taittinger. IMHO, they were the primary reasons to visit Reims. [Liked the Chagall at the Cathedral a lot also.]

Sorry I can’t add much, as we’ve only had two overnight stays in Rheims (one on the way out to Piemonte and the other on the way back). Central Rheims is certainly pleasant with good pedestrianisation, albeit the surrounding area looked a little worse for wear in places. We’d not planned a meal, instead landing on a place on a pedestrianised street that probably was a little touristy, but nonetheless the food was good, especially the steak tartare aux fine herbes.

Accommodation was quite hard to come by / generally unimpressive back in 2012 (and no-one on Wine Pages could recommend anywhere), so unless that has changed in the last decade, I rather think the idea of a day trip may make more sense than a weekend stay.

I’m also going to be visiting Champagne this summer (July) for my honeymoon. Does anyone know of any decent grower-producers that take visitors? We’ll probably stay in Reims.

Depends on what you’re looking for. If you want to experience special things you won’t find in other wine locales, I’d strongly consider Reims. There you can hit one of the wineries with the historic chalk caves, which are amazing to experience in person. I believe those include Taittinger, Pommery, Ruinart, and Charles Heidsieck – take your pick. Then right nearby you can have a fabulous lunch at Les Crayeres (either the formal restaurant or the more contemporary Bistro) and also pop into town to see the amazing cathedral where France’s kings have been crowned since the Middle Ages and where the Chagall stained glass windows are truly breathtaking. It’s a great day trip with a range of experiences with broad appeal, though you won’t get a small grower tasting vibe or a walk through vineyards if those are your highest priorities…

We stayed at an Airbnb in Epernay and, among other things, hit Ruinart, the cathedral, and some really nice lunches in Reims.

Next trip, I will probably stay at Selosse’s hotel and try to get one of the Friday tours for guests (IIRC). We had lunch at the hotel restaurant and certainly enjoyed having his wines.

I love the village quality of Epernay. If you want great historic buildings, I would go to Reims. The food is great both places with Reims being maybe a little higher quality. Epernay is much closer to my favorite wine areas. I stayed with Jacques Selosse in Avize. A beautiful area with lots of great visits.

^this and after your Ruinart tour, go to Le Crayeres for lunch.

This is what we are doing for July, but only doing the bistro.

Epernay is more centrally located, but more of a village than a city. Reims is bigger, has more conveniences/attractions, and better restaurants. No wrong choice, just depends on what experience is more appealing.

When I went last fall I visited Reims. The cathedral there is pretty amazing (some VERY cool history). We also had an outstanding lunch at Racine which I highly recommend. Very impressive champagne list and pretty amazing value on your meal, especially at lunch. I’d certainly go back.

I highly recommend staying at Selosse. It was the highlight of my visit to Champagne in 2018, by a mile.

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Adding to this thread with a question about Epernay. We will be in the region in the fall for about a day and a half and would really like to avoid renting a car. At the same time, I see that houses such as Billecart-Salmon, Bollinger, Veuve etc. are a bit out of town but not all that far. Will there be Ubers/taxis to get back and forth? If we take an Uber or taxi to one of those places 5-10km away, will we be able to get BACK to Epernay center? Thanks all.

You can pre-arrange taxis if you know what your timing will be. I’ve done that with no issues - for example, when I stay in Epernay and want to have dinner at Les Avises. I’m not interested in driving as I want to enjoy the wine, so I use A’Gil Taxi.

A’Gil Taxi
6, rue des sièges
51200 Epernay
Tel: +33 (0)3 26 59 01 44
Mobile: +33 (0)6 80 30 55 89
Email: info@agiltaxi.fr

Cash and card payment accepted in the taxis.

They’re quite prompt in responding to email if you’re looking for a quote and then booking with them. For reference, they charged 30 Euro each way to get to Les Avises when I was there in April.

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It’s going to be WAY more expensive to hire private car service than to rent a car, but understand some people may not want to spit while tasting, ha!. UBER is not really an option. You could also consider using a private eno-tourism company. They can arrange visits and drive you around.

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Yeah, that makes sense. I actually stumbled on your advice on another thread and decided to rent a car in Reims. Thanks for the tips!

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What’s the wine list at Les Crayere like in terms of gems at good prices?