Where to stay to visit Champagne?

Visit the Champagne region, its vineyards and must-see sites: here’s where to stay in Champagne!

An ancient medieval province formed in 1065, Champagne is the home of the world-famous sparkling wine, protected by an Appellation d’Origine Contrôlée (AOC). Located in northeastern France, in what is now the Grand Est region, Champagne is defined by the cultivation of grape varieties and the production sites of Champagne wine: Marne, Aube, Aisne, Seine-et-Marne and Haute-Marne. Wine production in this historic region has never ceased to grow: in 1850, 8 million bottles were produced, 28 million in 1900, 200 million in 1986, 312 million in 2015. Made from Pinot Noir, Meunier and Chardonnay grapes, Champagne sparkling white wines are synonymous with prestige and celebration, and play a major role in the region’s development as a tourist destination.

Looking for a place to stay in Champagne? If you take the Wine Route, you can stay in Reims, Épernay, Châlons-en-Champagne or Troyes! Follow our mini-guide to the towns and villages where you can stay in this world-renowned wine region.

Reims

Cathédrale de Reims

Photo credit: Flickr – barnyz

Reims, sub-prefecture of the Marne department, is the second largest city in the Grand Est region after Strasbourg. Staying in Reims allows you to visit an impressive historical and cultural heritage while discovering the wines of Champagne.

Reims is home to 183,113 Rémois and benefits from the international aura that champagne enjoys. But it has another tourist attraction: as the « city of coronations », Carolingian and Capetian kings were crowned here for over ten centuries, from Louis the Pious (816) to Charles X (1825). Many of the city’s historic monuments are listed as UNESCO World Heritage Sites, including Notre-Dame Cathedral –built between 1211 and 1345 – which attracts over a million visitors a year.

Staying in Reims allows you to visit numerous cooperative wineries and book guided tours of the best wine estates: this is where you’ll find the most wineries, not least because the Reims mountain is one of the four champagne-producing areas.

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Épernay

Perrier-Jouët, Epernay

Photo credit: Flickr – Steve Harris

Although vine cultivation dates back to Gallo-Roman times, it was here, in Épernay, that Champagne wine was invented in the 17th century by Dom Pérignon (1638-1715), at the Hautvilliers monastery. This Benedictine monk is said to have imported from Limoux (Aude) the « prise de mousse » method for transforming a white « still wine » into a sparkling wine.

The town of Épernay has a population of just 23,100, but it boasts an architectural and cultural heritage not to be missed, as it lies to the south of the Montagne de Reims regional nature park, and is bordered by the river Marne. There are few historical remains – the town having been looted, ransacked, burned and destroyed more than 25 times in its history – but staying in Épernay will allow you to visit the cellars of Champagne’s second-largest wine-producing area: Moët & Chandon, Veuve-Cliquot, Ponsardin, winemakers and more. An incredible terroir awaits you!

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Châlons-en-Champagne

Prefecture of the Marne department, Châlons-en-Champagne is a small town of just 45,000 inhabitants. Today, there are no longer any vineyards in the commune, but a number of Champagne houses have survived: Jacquesson, Lebrun and Joseph Perrier, whose chalk-cut cellars date back to Gallo-Roman times.

As a « ville d’art et d’histoire » (town of art and history), many cultural events take place throughout the year – Nuit des Arts, Festival des musiques d’ici et d’ailleurs, War on Screen film festival, etc. – and the town boasts a large number of historic monuments to visit. – and the city boasts a large number of historic monuments to visit.

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