Champagne

Champagne – the place of French monarchs crowning and the region pf fizz production

Champagne’s capital Reims – had been a place of nearly all French kings’ coronation. It is also a region where the King’s wine, the champagne has been born.

Champagne is a region of France, located in the Northeast from the French capital. The capital of champagne, Reims, is almost two hours away or 180 km Northeast from Paris.

The main attraction of the city is its Reims Cathedral. It became the place of Coronation of almost all French kings who would receive in Reims theirs attributes of power. The divine power would ascend on Kings through the holy anointing with ambrosia from a divine flask. This flask, according to the legend, was carried by a dove keeping it firmly in his beck. The first Frankish King Clovis was blessed with this ambrosia by the bishop Saint-Remy in 498. Subsequently, the flask was then kept in the Church of Saint-Remy in Reims (we will also see it later) for coronation ceremonies.

The attributes of power- or royal regalia –were taken to Reims from the Basilica of Saint Denis, which had been used as a sepulcher of Royalty for centuries. Some Royal regalia are now exhibited at the Louvre: the hand of Justice, the scepter, the sword, the crown and the spurs.

When in Reims, we will have our first visit to one of the established Houses of Champagne with a tour through wine cellars and tasting of champagne.

Then we are visiting the Church of St. Remy and the Reims Cathedral – most important sites of Reims.

After having toured in Reims we are moving to the village Hautvillers, where in 17th century a certain Dom Perignon, a Benedictine monk and a cellarer of a monastery was diligently working to improve the quality of local wine. It is mistakenly believed to be an inventor of sparkling drink, what is not true. However, his contribution was great. To improve the taste of wine he began to blend different varieties of grape juice. Thanks to his experiments he managed to get an excellent white wine from black grapes of Pinot Noir. Dom Perignon first suggested to pour the wine into bottles, allowing better retaining of a carbon dioxide gas and preventing blasting of barrels in cellars. Dom Perignon suggested to use cork plugs to shut up bottles.

We will visit the old church of the village Hautvillers with the tomb of Dom Perignon buried inside in 1715.

We will have our lunch next door in the restaurant of the Chef Thierry Landragin, overlooking a picturesque valley with vineyards.

After lunch we are leaving to the town of Epernay and will cross this impressive vineyards of Reims Valley. When in Epernay, one more visit of Champagne House is envisaged, notably the “Mercier” with galleries of cellars and champagne tasting on request.

Program

  • Visiting one of Houses of Champagne in Reims with wine tasting;
  • Reims Cathedral, church of Saint-Remy;
  • Dom Perignon’s village of Hautvillers;
  • The Reims valley with vineyards;
  • Epernay town with the House of Le Mercier and Champagne tasting.

Price and timing

Excursion lasts the whole day (7-8 hours). Price - from 650 €.

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