How to Spend 1 Day in Champagne
Home to some of the world’s most expensive and beloved wines, the Champagne region is the perfect destination for oenophiles and those after a touch of luxury. Whether you plan to stay locally or are making a day-trip journey down from Paris, one day is enough time to get acquainted with the region’s highlights—here’s what to do.
Morning: Épernay Excursions
Begin your day of explorations in charming Épernay, a small town located right in the heart of the Champagne region. The vineyards around Épernay are known primarily for pinot meunier—one of three main grape varietals (alongside pinot noir and chardonnay) that are typically used in Champagne. Stroll the town’s Avenue of Champagne—a UNESCO World Heritage Site—and visit some of the most esteemed houses that line it, from Moët & Chandon to Pol Roger. As Épernay is situated amidst vineyards, some itineraries even make it possible to head off the main drag and wander among the vines.
Afternoon: Reims Explorations
After a morning of Champagne sipping, take a few hours to clear your head (and discover more of the region’s extraordinary scenery). From Épernay, it’s just a quick drive to Reims: the largest city in the region. Grab a baguette sandwich or other quick bite, and go for a sightseeing jaunt. Reims Cathedral—a UNESCO World Heritage Site and high-Gothic wonder—is one of the city’s most important attractions, while Tau Palace (Palais du Tau) and the Saint-Rémi Basilica are other popular stops. Alternatively, Segway tours offer a speedy and laid-back ways to sightsee.
Evening: A Gourmet Conclusion
Given that the Champagne region is beloved of gastronomes, gourmets, and wine enthusiasts, booking a dinner to remember is a fitting way to cap off your day’s explorations. L’Assiette Champenoise—a temple of fine dining with three Michelin stars, located on the edge of Reims—offers one of the most lavish menus in the region, plus a wide-ranging selection of rare, vintage Champagnes. The Café du Palais is another local culinary institution, while Le Parc at Domaine Les Crayères serves up glittering, old-world opulence alongside an impressive wine list. Sip and dine in style: It’s the Champagne way.