Champagne tours

We here at SmoothRed love our Champagne tours. And not just for their fizzy delights. As well as the vineyards and châteaux along the scenic Route du Champagne, Champagne is also home to stunning sights, rich and rustic culinary specialities and relaxing river and canal cruises.

“Come quick, I am drinking the stars!” – with these words, the monk Dom Pérignon is said to have announced his invention of Champagne in the late 17th century. And he certainly wouldn’t be the first to be driven to poetic paroxysms by the scintillating wines of the Champagne region.

Alas, like so many great stories, this is probably something of a myth. The romantic quote was actually first used in an advertising campaign in the 1880s. And there’s strong evidence to suggest that sparkling wine was first produced intentionally around 1662 by Christopher Merret, a scientist from Gloucester. So perhaps it’s closer to West Country scrumpy than we might think.

 

 

Popular places to visit

Of course, on our SmoothRed Champagne tours you’ll have plenty of chances to taste the region’s favourite export. But beyond the châteaux you’ll also want to visit some of its most popular attractions too.

Like the 13th century cathedral in the heart of romantic Reims. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is one of the greatest gothic cathedrals in all of northern France. And, if you’re that way inclined, you might like to try counting all its 2,303 statues. Although you will end up with a sore neck.

Further south, in the heart of Champagne country, the small town of Epernay is home to many of the most famous producers of fizz. From Moët & Chandon to Perrier-Jouët, it’s a delightful place to spend an easy afternoon wandering on foot between Champagne houses and cellars.

Then head a few miles southeast to the scenic Lac du Der, the largest reservoir in Europe and a great place to relax or indulge in a spot of bird-watching. Or maybe visit the historic old town of Troyes to marvel at its gorgeous half-timbered houses.

And let’s not forget Hautvilliers, the lively vignerons village famous for its abbey where Dom Pérignon plied his trade as cellar-master. Not to mention other famous Champagne villages like Rilly-la-Montagne and Verzy.

Wine and cuisine in Champagne

The Champagne region’s terroir is unique. Its Northern location, rugged climate, chalky soil and rolling countryside make it the ideal place to grow the Pinot Noir, Pinot Meunier and Chardonnay grapes that are predominantly used to make Champagne.

The grapes of Champagne

The first, Pinot Noir, is most widely planted in the Aube region, while the second, Pinot Meunier takes up much of the Vallée de la Marne. The Côte des Blancs is dedicated almost exclusively to Chardonnay.

And, of course, they take their regional boundaries seriously in Champagne. Since 1942 the region has been overseen by the Comité Interprofessionnel du Vin de Champagne (CIVC), which rates vintages based on the quality of their grapes and vineyards. Nice work if you can get it.

Champagne cuisine

Now, some would say you shouldn’t really eat while drinking Champagne, but we think those people can fizz off. From refined dining like oysters and snails in Champagne sauce, to the region’s rustic pleasures of venison, boar, rabbit and pheasant, you can be sure to dine every bit as well as you drink on one of our champagne tours.

 

Hotel de La Paix

Description The Best Western Premier Hotel de La Paix 4-star is located in the heart of Reims,…

France, Champagne Region
L'Assiette Champenoise

Description The luxury hotel L’Assiette Champenoise is a delightful residence, admist the calm of a 4…

France, Champagne Region
Domaine Les Crayères

Description Domaine Les Crayères is a stunning luxury Hotel in Champagne.  Located in the heart…

France, Champagne Region

“Thanks for taking the time and trouble to call. You really have set the standard by which we compare all other companies!! Thank you so much for organising a fantastic itinerary with such an interesting and varied range of stop-overs. We are already starting to think about next year’s trip to France so would welcome any suggestions.”

Hilary Alder

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Recent Google Reviews

Smooth Red did a super job of organizing our 11 day tour of French wine regions. Although the tour was originally designed as self-drive they were able to meet our needs by arranging for travel by train. All of the arrangements worked, and the hotels and wine tours were first…

Jeff Goldstein

Very enjoyable. All three Chateaus were very different adding to the experience. Saint Emillion is beautiful. Our group of 8 was just right size for personal fell yet fellowship. Only did a one day, but certainly if the Chateau quality is indicative will consider Smooth Red for longer tours. Very…

Ken Jeske

SmoothRed organised an amazing holiday for my Mum and I- we went to Bordeaux for three nights and stayed in a wonderful hotel. We had the perfect mixture of trips and free time and the visits to the Chateaus were wonderful. From start to finish, my experience of booking the…

Chloe Vallis

We had a fantastic weekend in the Rioja region with Smooth Red; the Bodegas, hotel and mostly the tour guide were all fantastic. Everything was organised really well and we are already considering our next trip with Smooth Red which is a real compliment from us. Thank you

Samantha Collins

This was a wonderful and memorable experience. Smooth red were attentive in the planning and a pleasure to work with as we expressed our requirements. i look forward to using their services again.

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