I had looked at booking this tour and then forgot and about a week out email Christopher late evening. By the next morning I had a confirmation and was really excited. We took the 40 minute TGV ride out to Champagne from Paris and met Ekaterina at the station. She confirmed the types of Champagne Houses that I wanted to go to, all small in size and also asked about our eating habits to make sure we would go to a place where both my wife and I would like to eat.
We took a quick ride to the town where Dom Perignon had been laid to rest. We toured the vineyards and learded about the process. The weather was cold, foggy and cold but it did not deter us from moving onward to the first tasting. As we walked in to the Champagne House Ekaterina greeted the Father and Son and was explaining to us the process of making champagne. They have selected a few really nice smaller houses that they have a good working relationship with and pretty much have full access to the entire properties.
We were also able to taste pretty much every single bottle they had available. The nice thing with champagne is you really can taste the differences from bottle to bottle and start picking our what you like pretty quickly.
Then it was time for lunch and a ride over to another town. I will update with the name of the place but it was a michelin star rated restaurant and a really good meal. We then took a quick ride over to Rheims to see the Cathedral. Then it was on to 2 other smaller houses.
The whole tour was from 920am to about 6pm and covered 3 different houses and Rheims. Lunch is not included but even eating at a high end restaurant the priced fixed meals was not bad priced at all.
The last house we went to was Ernest Remy Winery and it really was the best for last. All the grapes used at this house are Grand Cru and there wasn't a bad glass of champagne poured. Not to say we had any bad ones earlier in the day but there were a couple that I liked and my wife didn't and vice versa. We also we able to meet the owner and he had just set up a website and was also exporting to the USA. He actually has Champagne that just got here and will be shipped from that distributor. I guess with all the laws and taxes its hard to bring much more than a bottle or two back to the USA so going to places that have distributors in the US is great and all 3 of them had the ability to be bought here.
We really learned a lot about the process of growing, making and drinking champagne and would highly recommend this tour to others. I actually told the concierge at our hotel that this is a must recommend tour for people who ask. Please feel free to ask me any questions.
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