A friend will be in Reims April 28 and 29. No plans at the moment, no introductions. I did a search. Looks like try the bigger houses and not small growers if you don’t speak the language. They do not. Ruinart is good but pricey. If needed try the tourism office next to the cathedral. A couple of nice higher end restaurants. Anything else to add? Casual eats? Thanks!
If you want to stick to just Reims (and don’t have a car) then you are going to pretty much be stuck to the big guys. Taittinger, Ruinart, Pommery, and Clicquot all do nice tours and have great cellars. Mumm is also right there and if you have connections, Roederer and Krug too. If leaving Reims isn’t an option, you can still experience smaller producers via various local shops. The Special Club anow has a shop in Reims so if you are interested in smaller producers, this is a nice shop to visit since it is focused on the Club producers. Of course, there are many other wine shops in Reims that also have great Champagne selections and lots of growers. Caves du Forum, Vinocave on the main walking plaza by the Best Western, and the many around the Cathedral have nice stuff.
If you have a car then you can go anywhere you want and most growers actually do speak English - much better than you would probably think. The key is to try and set something up in advance and just be open about speaking English. If that isn’t an option then it will be communicated. In general, I would try and set up any visits in advance just to make sure there is availability. Even the big houses with public tours can sometimes fill up or leave you waiting for hours for the next tour opening.
As far as restaurants, Reims has plenty. I really like Le Bocal for fresh seafood and Le Foch for more traditional one-star dining. There are plenty more options, but those are favorites of mine. Table Anna, Millenaire (one star), Version Originale are all good too. You can always venture out to Les Crayeres or Assiette Champenoise for the best of the best in the area.
I’m actually there the same time and visiting P Peters who makes great blanc de blanc. Just write them directly. La Gare nearby is a decent restaurant.
Also tell him to find a short time to visit the cathedral. The Chagall windows are fantastic.
Look around for a bottle of Rose des Riceys. it’s not from the Marne, but rather the Aube. Difficult to find even in Champagne, and it is a fine Rose, ages like a 1st Cru Bordeaux. It’s a still wine, 100% Pinot Noir, and the locals will appreciate your asking.
How much is the visit to Ruinart please
I went two years ago but we were never charged, im sure its similar to other tours in Reims but it is worth visiting. From what i recall though it was not really walking distance from the center
According to their website and other notes I’ve seen 70 euro
Les Crayeres served me one of the finest meals I have ever had. Simply superb beginning to end.
Caves du Forum has a fantastic selection of champagnes you wont find in the states. It is literally in a cave hewn from bedrock. Cool, damp, dark, wonderful.
And you really have to make time for the cathedral. One of the most spectacular and historically important spots in France