Épernay, the ‘Champs-Elysées of the Champagne region,’ is considered as the “capital” of the Champagne region due to the density of the champagne industry and how many residents work in it. It has a very different feel from Reims, and from the two, this was my favourite.
Épernay is also home to the famous Avenue de Champagne with many of the world’s most celebrated Champagne houses housed on it such as Moet, Perrier-Jouët, Pol Roger and Mercier.
Getting to Épernay
Épernay is accessible both directly from Paris or from Reims, and I recommend combining the two for the perfect weekend break.
Things to do and see in Épernay
A tasting at C. Comme
Kick off your trip with a tasting of a flight of champagnes and a lesson in flavour and varieties. This tasting room and wine cellar carries only small producers, so you’re guaranteed to try something that you may never have tried before.
The six glass tasting is ideal as it exposes you to the three main champagne grapes (chardonnay, pinot noir and pinot meunier), different crus, and the two ways of making rosé champagne.
I would recommend sharing the tasting rather than ordering 6 glasses each 😉
An aerial view from a Hot Air Balloon
Marvel at Épernay from an aerial view from a Hot Air Balloon whilst sipping on champagne of course! Each day, a different local champagne producer provides their champagne to the hot air balloon as the ‘champagne of the day’, and so if you go again another time you are likely to experience a different champagne. You also get to keep a champagne flute as a gift!
Little Tourist Train Ride
Hop on board the little tourist train and hear about the history of Épernay’s great champagne houses, as the train takes you along Avenue de Champagne and through the city centre.
Tour and Tasting at Maison de Champagne de Castellane
A tasting at Maison de Champagne de Castellane is an absolute must! I loved learning about the processes as well as seeing the views of Épernay from the iconic Tower, which can be spotted from anywhere in the town.
We were lucky to have a private tour organised for us and it was the highlight of the trip for me.
Where to eat and drink in Épernay
Champagne de Venoge
We popped into Champagne de Venoge on Avenue de Champagne for a glass as we are intrigued by its gorgeous courtyard and it was a fabulous spot for some fizz!
La Table Kobus
La Table Kobus has gorgeous French cuisine served beautifully and a must try for a fine dining experience!
Where to stay
Magna Quies Bed and Breakfast
Magna Quies Bed and Breakfast on 49 Avenue de Champagne, is the perfect base for your Champagne adventure, a stately home converted into a B&B with the friendly host staying there. It is 5 star standards and I would totally stay there again on a return trip to Épernay.
The best thing is their dog!
From my room I had an amazing view of the tower too.
Have you visited Épernay? What were your highlights?