Splurge vs Save: Tour Champagne Region on a budget
Updated: Mar 9, 2018
We spent one week in Reims and Epernay, drinking our way through the famous champagne region. Here's the tours we suggest you splurge on and what you avoid, because you will want to bring several bottles home with you.
Veuve Cliquot | Aromatics Tour: Splurge on this tour or something like it, as the tour depend on the season. This tour was beautiful experience with the best tour guides that ends in a private tasting of four vintages with local cheeses.
Ruinart | Crayers Visit: Oldest champagne house in the world. Beautiful grounds, delicious champange, and must visit while here. Must book at least a month in advance, there's only one type of tour available.
Great to visit:
Mumm | Only German owned and managed champage house in the region. Great to compare to the other traditional houses you visit. Book reservations in advance, basic tour is sufficient.
Pommery | Founded by one of two women who was responsible for establishing the champagne region. They are known for hosting art exhibits on their campus and throughout the crayers. Use your Reims City Pass to purchase tickets, it will be discounted. Basic tour is sufficient.
GH Martel | This is a smaller house with no crayers to tour, but the house is best for it's flight tastings. Purchase 6+ bottles for a discount, they will box it for you and drop it off at your hotel so you don't have to carry it through Reims. No reservations needed. Boizel | Champagne House only made with Grande Cru; delicious and worth a visit while in Epernay. Be sure to stock up on bottles while you're here as it's difficult to find Stateside.
Tattinger | This was the worst tour, especially after doing the Veuve Cliquot tour. Unlike the other tours where there's 6-8 people in your tour, Tattinger crams 40+ people into your tour. Also you can compare the quality of the champagnes, we didn't finish our tasting.
Moet | Save your money here as it's the same experience you will get at the others in Reims (Veuve Cliquot and Reims). Rather head up the Avenue to the smaller houses that you won't find in the States for tastings and maybe some purchases.
Other ways to save money so you can bring more champagne home:
Reims: Stay at a place with a kitchen, where you can make breakfast or dinners yourself. Food options are expensive and very similar throughtout the city.
Take public transportation like the bus or train. There is no need to rent a car. Reims and Epernay are both so small you don't need to drive, walking around is totally doable.
Still want to try some smaller, local houses? They have a tasting room on the Chamapgne de Avenue, so still don't need a car.
Make reservations in advance, this includes your train tickets.
Buy a Reims City Pass and plan out when you start to use it as the hours start counting down once you scan it the first time. All museums in Reims are free with the pass.
If you travel in August, alot of the smaller houses will be closed as will many of the resturaunts and shops for the summer holiday.