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Discover and explore the wonderful world of Champagne wines in France with Corinne Preteur. Your days will be spent touring the wineries and seeing how the process works from scratch. This will be a peaceful short vacation for those who are connoisseurs of wines. You will enjoy a delicious combination of gourmet food and drinks. In a word, this Lifestyle Vacation's unique "Dreamy Champagne" tour reflects the harmonious way of life.
You will be staying at Le Clos du Mont. This four-star guesthouse and spa, located in a quiet village surrounded by vineyards, offers you a luxurious accommodation.
The "Dreamy Champagne" itinerary was designed by Corinne Preteur. It combines Michelin-starred gourmet lunches and dinners in Le Foch and Les Crayeres restaurants with visits to prestigious Houses of Champagne and to family-run wineries in Grands Crus villages where you will learn the process of Champagne wine-making from scratch. Corinne will personally escort you on this private tour.
Corinne's itinerary highlights Reims and its area, which is called “La Montagne de Reims". The prestigious Houses of Champagne have set their headquarters between Reims and Epernay, using the spectacular deep chalk grottoes to age millions of bottles. La Montagne de Reims is reputed for its 17 Grands Crus villages such as Verzenay, Verzy, Mailly, Louvois, Bouzy, Ay, Avize, and for the village where Dom Perignon lived and was buried, Hautvillers.
You will explore and experience the best Champagne wines including the Grand Crus tour and the old vintages while visiting the wineries and enjoying tastings afterwards. There will be an opportunity for you to discover picturesque villages and its sweet life. During the two day, you will meet Corinne's longstanding personal friends including chefs, restaurateurs, winemakers, and producers.
The Champagne production zone (AOC vineyard area) is defined and delimited by a law passed in 1927, encompassing roughly 34,000 hectares of vineyards. The vineyard spreads over 150 kilometers to the east of Paris, crossing 320 villages (crus) of five counties: Marne, Aube, Aisne, Haute-Marne, and Seine-et-Marne.
There are four main growing areas: Montagne de Reims, Vallée de la Marne, Côte des Blancs, and Côte des Bar. Together it encompasses nearly 278,000 plots of vines, each measuring roughly 18 ares (100 square meters). Seventeen villages have a traditional entitlement to Grand Cru ranking and 42 to Premier Cru ranking. The vineyard is predominantly planted of pinot noir, meunier, and chardonnay.
Chardonnay makes up 30 percent of the plantings. Chardonnay is the king on the Côte des Blancs, yielding delicately fragrant wines with characteristic notes of flowers, citrus, and sometimes minerals. Being slower to develop than the other two varieties, chardonnay produces wines that are built to age.
Meunier makes up 32 percent of the plantings. This robust grape variety shows better cold-weather resistance than pinot noir. It grows perfectly in the argillaceous soils of the Marne valley. Meunier adds roundness to the blend, producing supple, fruity wines that tend to age more quickly than wines made with the other two varieties.
Pinot noir makes up 38 percent of the plantings. It's the predominant grape variety on the Montagne de Reims and the Côte des Bar where the cool and chalky soil suit perfectly. The pinot noir adds backbone and body to the blend, producing wines with distinctive aromas of red berries and good structure.
In the morning, you will be transferred from Paris by luxury private car or minibus. You will have a visit to a prestigious House of Champagne in Epernay (Moët and Chandon, Perrier-Jouët, or Mercier).
In the afternoon, you will take lunch in Epernay. After that, there will be an afternoon guided walking tour to Hautvillers and a visit to the abbey where Dom Perignon was buried. You will then have a visit to a family-run winery in a Grand Cru village, followed by a wine tasting class.
Once you are done with the tours for the day, you will check-in at Le Clos du Mont, a luxury guesthouse and spa. The rest of the day will be your relaxing time. Dinner will be an occasion for a food and wine pairing meal at a Michelin-star restaurant in Reims.
You will start the day with a breakfast at the guesthouse. Then, you will be transferred to Reims. Today, there will be a visit to Veuve Clicquot, Taittinger, or Pommery prestigious House of Champagne.
After the tour, you will be served with a gourmet lunch at a two-star Michelin restaurant in Reims. Then, you will go on an afternoon walking tour of Reims, including a visit to the cathedral where most of the French Kings were crowned. After the tour is done, you will be transferred back to Paris.
Born in Paris and raised in the Loire Valley, Corinne has spent many years in the USA, working first for Hasbro Milton Bradley (Massachusetts and Rhode Island), and partnering with Birmingham Associates in Boston, then. Within her long professional career, Corinne has organized and guided numerous VIP tours and press trips worldwide. She has an extensive knowledge in France history, food, wine, and gastronomy, in general. She is the creator, owner, and director of Lifestyle Vacations France, and the founder of Paris-based Antilope Productions company and Côté Loisirs TV France.
This tour will take place the Champagne wine region in Epernay and Reims, France. Champagne, lying to the east of the Paris region, is one of the great historic provinces of France and of the richest agricultural area.
As far back as the times of the emperor, Charlemagne, in the ninth century, Champagne welcomed the biggest European fairs. A part of the rich heritage is still visible in Troyes and Provins. However Champagne gained its international recognition at the 14th century, thanks to the monks who created the sparkling wine method. Dom Perignon has engraved the name “Champagne" for eternity.
Only two hours from Paris, Champagne is a French region where the elegance and the lifestyle are closely linked. The famous Champagne sparkling wine is produced here, regulated by very strict charts. Between hills, plains, and forests, you will discover the vineyard which spreads over six territories including La Montagne de Reims. It is this destination that you will explore through your full-day tour departing from Paris.
The price of the package includes breakfast, as well as gourmet lunches and dinners accompanied by wine at Michelin-starred restaurants, as mentioned in the itinerary.
Please book your flight to arrive at Paris-Charles de Gaulle Airport (CDG). Transfer from and to Paris is included. Lifestyle Vacations will pick you up in Paris.
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