Exploring European Wines, one Vineyard at a Time: Champagne Edition

By: Diana Maria Groom

Planning a trip to the Champagne region, but want a unique and city experience? Then look no further than Reims! While Epernay, the Champagne capital of the world, has a lot to offer, it's Reims that holds our hearts. Reims has a copycat Notre Dame Cathedral, intimate and delicious French restaurants, and experiences worth more than a thousand glasses of Veuve Clicquot.

view of vineyards in Champagne France
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About Champagne

Champagne itself is actually another European blend. This edition brings us the effervescence of the Pinot Noir, the Chardonnay, and the Pinot Meunier grapes. While most countries in Europe have their versions of Champagne, such as Prosecco or Cava, the name "Champagne" only refers to those sparkling wines which originate in the Champagne region of France. This region spans multiple cities in France's northeastern quadrant, with Reims being the most picturesque French city located in it.

Make this your first stop

If you are new to Champagne in general, I recommend visiting the largest house in Reims for your first stop: Mumm. G.H. Mumm might have a Champagne house in California, but the original is in Reims, and it is a must-see for your introduction to Champagne. They even offer tours in English in a group or private setting. You will see the cavernous tunnels on this tour, which are the city's arteries and veins at over 25 km long and chock full of its precious cargo.

Pro Tip: Finish your day off at the perfect intimate French restaurant, and don't worry about the reservations!

Mumm. G.H. Mumm - diana groom

Tour a local Cru vineyard

While Mumm is the perfect setting to start learning about Champagne, you must include a private tour of a local Cru vineyard. In fact, some Champagne from Mumm is sourced from over 100 different crus! So, if you want a unique and intimate experience, you must head off into rural Champagne country. On the short ride there, sit back and enjoy the views from the back seat of your tour guide's convertible!

women touring with owner in vineyard

At around 30 minutes from Reims, Champagne Daverdon is one of these such places. There, you will learn why this is such an unforgettable experience. Tour the Vineyard and its cellars with its 3rd generation owner, Sebastien Daverdon. Sit and drink Champagne with Sebastien and your personal tour guide, Stephane from Tours in Champagne, at the table where the Daverdon family crushes the grapes at harvest time. And, truly experience real Champagne! This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that cannot be missed. Trust me - you will not be disappointed.

Here are some of the tours offered by Stephane, that I know you will love!



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diana groom holding wine glass

About the Author

Diana Maria Groom is a first-generation American, born to Cuban parents. She is first and foremost a military spouse and mother to three children and currently resides in England, and previously in Germany where she has been stationed with her husband in the Air Force. She recently earned her introductory certificate in Wine Tasting and Sensory Techniques for Wine Analysis from UC Davis and is currently completing Level Two Sommelier Certification. Diana plans all of her European travel with wine tourism at the forefront!