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Champagne tours

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Brussels, Belgium
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Champagne tours

I have just booked to stay in the best western in the centre of town from the 2nd to 4th March .

I am wondering which if any caves are within walking distance for us as surely if you do lots of tasting ,driving is not a good idea !

Or are there any tour guides recommended who could drive us to several caves ?

Tampa, Florida
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1. Re: Champagne tours

Should you do even a simple search on the Reims forum, you'd find that there are a number of caves within walking distance of the centre of Reims.

Visit www.reims-tourism.com (in English) for more information -- the staff there speak anything from fair to excellent English, so you can email them with no worries about language issues.

Essex
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2. Re: Champagne tours

This website has maps to show where the caves are and lots of good links and information:

maisons-champagne.com/en/liste_maisons/visit…

There are Taxi's in Reims and a reasonable bus and tram service within the city. You don't really need a driver/guide to ferry you around.

You are perfectly wise not to want to mix sampling with driving yourselves, drink-driving laws in France are very strict and the limit is tiny!

The Reims TIC that Sunshine has linked you to is a great place to start with your enquiries.

Reading, United...
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3. Re: Champagne tours

Depends how far you want to walk but many is the answer. Krug (if you can get in), Ruinart (an excellent tour), Taittinger, Veuve Clicquot-Ponsardin, Lanson, Pommery, Charles de Cazanove, Mumm.

London UK
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4. Re: Champagne tours

Once you have visited a couple of champagne houses they all start to be remarkably similar and you normally cannot just pop into one for a tasting only. The best option would be to have a good tour in the morning, enjoy a leisurely lunch and then do another in the afternoon.

Reading, United...
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5. Re: Champagne tours

If you want to get out and see the smaller houses in the Montagne de Reims, Vallee de la Marne or Cote des Blancs, I would drive and save the cost of taxi/tour on buying Champagne!!!

The smaller houses will be more than happy to give you a tasting without a tour. Often there are not many members of staff, so you will be doing them a favour. Of course, you will have to go easy on the tastings but you can still do a number of proper tastings during the day. Just not so much drinking! This way, you will get to try and buy really top quality wines at very good prices. Then you can make up for it when you get back to your hotel/lodging!

Tampa, Florida
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6. Re: Champagne tours

You could also take a regional train to Epernay, where you'll find quite a few more houses within easy reach of the centre of town.

www.ot-epernay.com

(staff here speak good English, too)

Sydney, Australia
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7. Re: Champagne tours

We are going to Champagne region over Easter - a day trip from Paris. We'll have a car and I have just booked a tour at Moet & Chandon at 11am which one of my friends recommended. I then thought we'd head to Reims for a nice lunch (the brasserie recommendations all sound very good - are bistros and brasseries the same thing and are they generally cheaper than restaurants as we'll have 3 adult children with us who like to eat and drink! ) and to visit some other champagne houses. In our Australian wineries you can just rock up and do some tasting - is it OK to do that as that way we would get to see a couple around Reims as well without doing a 2nd tour? Maybe some of the smaller ones.

What is the drink driving limit in France? Is there random breath testing done by the police? It's very strict in Sydney.

Essex
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8. Re: Champagne tours

You can't 'rock up' to the main Champagne Houses for a tasting, however out in the country you will find many smaller producers. If you see a sign outside their place saying 'degustation' which is, pretty much, the French for 'tasting' then they are inviting you in to taste their wares. It is polite (in fact de-rigeur) to buy.

The Alcohol Limit for drivng in France is 0.05% (0.5mg/ml) - this is tiny compared to the UK, however Wikipedia says that it is the same as the limit you have in Oz. Your driver may well have to spit rather than swallow, or just go teetotal for the day.

Now cars are supposed to be equipped with their own breathalysers - lots of info here:

…drive-alive.co.uk/driving-in-france.htm

Sydney, Australia
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9. Re: Champagne tours

Thanks EssexWanderer for your help. That's great.

Reims, France
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10. Re: Champagne tours

There is a great tour guide who does driving tours of the region, who can be found on Tripadvisor under Cris-Event. He also has a website that describes the different tours he does: cristourschampagne-ardenne.com/index.php/en/