Champagne is a wine that will always be welcome. A sparkling treat and a beautiful region with miles of vineyards and small champagne producers to discover. This makes the area a great hunting ground for wine lovers.
Champagne’s vineyards form a patchwork of green and gold spread across large areas of the region. Some 14,000 champagne growers and 300 villages are located in the main growing areas of the Montagne de Reims, south of the famous cathedral city of Reims, the Cote des Blancs around Epernay, the Marne Valley and the Aube.
Most of the annual grape production is bought up by the 110 Champagne houses or co-operatives and blended into famous brands and supermarket own labels, some of it for export. But around 5,000 growers bottle some or all of their production under their own name and sell that champagne only in France.
This makes the area a great hunting ground for visiting wine lovers – and there are quality still wines to be found as well. A good example is Rose des Riceys, produced from pinot noir grapes at the southern edge of the Champagne region.
For those in search of bubbly, the 18 grand cru villages are a good place to start, particularly in the Cote des Blancs, and the Aube is also a good source. You will find champagnes made by small scale growers with all the finesse and elegance of the top brands but at less that two-thirds of the price.
Great local Champagne vineyards worth exploring:
- Champagne de Barfontarc, Baroville +33 (0)3 25 27 07 09
- Champagne Nicolas Feuillatte, Epernay + 33 (0)3 26 59 64 61
- Champagne Mercier, Epernay + 33 (0)3 26 51 22 22
- Champagne G.H. Mumm, Reims + 33 (0)3 26 49 69 67
- Champagne F Vauversin, Oger + 33 (0)3 26 57 51 01
- Champagne Didier Herbert, Rilly-la-Montagne + 33 (0)3 26 03 41 53
- Champagne Veuve Doussot, Noë les Mallets + 33 (0)3 25 29 60 61
- Champagne Chateau de Bligny, Bligny +33 (0)3 25 27 40 11
For more information on visiting the region, how to get there, and where to stay visit our in depth guide to the Champagne-Ardenne region.