Champagne wine tour: luxury and gastronomy on the highest level
— Nothing else in the world of wine brings out the festive feeling as champagne does. But on this wine tour we will discover that champagne is so much more than a drink just for celebrations. It is above all a very exclusive and delicious wine! There is nothing that can match discovering and experiencing this exclusive wine and the regions elegant gastronomy on location yourself!
Next wine tour to Champagne:
The world has many sparkling wines but there is only one region, some 75 miles east of Paris, which can call its wines champagne.
During our days in Champagne, you will get an intimate understanding of what this sparkling wine is and why champagne is so unique. What makes champagne different from other sparkling wines? What is the terroir and what is the soil? Why is the northern climate so important? How do you “disgorge” the bottles? You will get answers to all this and much more.
This wine tour will have a mix of visits to the big and famous champagne “houses”, that blend wines from different growers, and visits to small independent growers that only make wine from their own vineyards.
Most well-known champagne brands come from a handful of very large wineries (houses). We will primarily focus on smaller, more exclusive and quality oriented producers on this trip. Some may be familiar to you as boutique wineries and some that you have perhaps never heard of although they make outstanding wines. Another “secret” of champagne to bring home with you and share with your friends!
Most of our lunches, if not all, will be together with the growers. This will give you excellent opportunities to explore how best to match champagne with food and how an all-champagne meal works (you will have several).
The most famous champagnes come from the three districts surrounding Epernay and Reims: Vallée de la Marne, Montagne de Reims and Côte des Blancs. You will get to know them all.
Throughout the tour we will be staying in Reims, located 95 miles (150 km) straight east of Paris. In the city, you can find some of the famous houses, such as Pommery with its Tudor-style mansion-winery, Taittinger, Veuve-Clicquot, Ruinart, Krug, Roederer and Mumm, just to mention a few.
The Reims cathedral is one of the most beautiful and impressive in France and is on the UNESCO World Heritage list. It has survived much trouble since it was built in the 13th century, not least the bombings of the First World War. The stained glass windows are magnificent and you should not miss the modern ones by Chagall.
You arrange for your own travel to Reims (it is only a 45 minute trip with the high-speed train from Paris) and arrive at the latest in the evening of the initial day.
The tour is led by one of BKWine’s wine and travel expert guides.
More travel information
Here are some useful pages and guides about this travel destination:
Even more info
We have written a lot about Champagne and about wine touring in the region, what to do and what to expect.
Here you can find more about travelling in the Champagne wine region.
You can also find more information on the wines from Champagne on BKWine Magazine.
The Champagne wine book
We at BKWine Tours have written a book about champagne, called “Champagne, the Wine and the Growers“, winner of “best book on French wine” in the Gourmand Awards.
Champagne, the Wine and the Growers is our ninth book (we’ve done more than ten now). It gives the reader everything he needs, or may want to know about champagne.
Unfortunately, the book is currently not available in English. But, as far as we know, no other wine tour operator has a track record of authoring ten or more wine books, so you can feel confident that you will get the most competent and high-quality wine tour with BKWine.
Program — Champagne wine tour
This is a sample program, an example. Every wine and food tour that we organise is different and specially adapted for the season and the circumstances. Details in the program, e.g. which producers we visit, will be different each time.
For more details, contact BKWine.
- Day 1, Wednesday — Arrival in Champagne
- Day 2, Thursday — Southern Montagne de Reims
- Day 3, Friday — Côte des Blancs
- Day 4, Saturday — The Big Houses, and organic champagne
- Day 5, Sunday — Heading back home
Wednesday, Day 1 — Arrival in Champagne
You arrive in Reims and check in at our centrally located hotel. It is easy to get from Paris (Gare de l’Est) to Reims. The trip takes about forty-five minutes and there is a train almost every hour. You can also take a train to Reims from the airport Charles de Gaulle.
Reims is a town with around 200 000 inhabitants. It is a lively and pleasant and you will find a lot of good restaurants and, of course, wine and champagne bars.
The Cathedrale Notre Dame de Reims is one of the most beautiful in France. Although it was much damaged in the First World War much of it was miraculously saved.
Many champagne houses are based in Reims, for instance, Pommery, Krug and Veuve Clicquot. Under the city, there are kilometres and kilometres of underground cellars, dug out of the chalk rock. The oldest are said to date back to Roman times.
The Houses, hillsides and cellars in Champagne is now part of the UNESCO World Heritage.
Champagne is a drink filled with prestige and you can tell from the “wineries” that image is important in this wine region. They often look more like palaces than like wine making places.
Thursday, Day 2 — Southern Montagne de Reims
After breakfast, our driver picks us up at the hotel. We drive south through the magnificent Montagne de Reims with its sloping hills, known for the excellent pinot noir grapes that grow here.
In the morning we visit a small grower who explains in detail the peculiar vinification and production process of champagne: why the harvest always is manual, the special way to press the grapes, the magic of the “second fermentation etc..
We continue south and stop at another small and very exclusive “house” where we will have a delicious gourmet lunch with a selection of the best champagnes that the producer has to offer.
We will finish lunch with a short walk to one of the most mythical vineyards in the region, with perfect terroir and micro-climate, to regain our energy! A 5 hectare big vineyards, closed by a stone wall, in one of the best locations in all of Champagne. A steep slope, looking south, over the river Marne. It is the pride of this producer!
In the afternoon we will visit a family-run champagne producer that produces excellent champagnes with a substantial portion of pinot noir in the blend. This gives wines with fuller body and more power than normally expected in a champagne.
He will also explain the importance of blending when making champagne. The blending is a unique aspect of making champagne that exists in almost no other wine district.
Late afternoon we return to Reims.
The evening is free. Perhaps a light dinner after our magnificent lunch… Unless you want to try one of the excellent restaurants in the city.
Friday, Day 3 — Côte des Blancs
After breakfast we board the bus and go south, to Côte des Blancs, the district just south of Epernay.
Côte des Blancs is known for its vineyards with chardonnay. Here you will find famous and picturesque Grand Cru villages like Mesnil-sur-Oger, Cramant and Avize. Many of the growers make blanc de blancs, a wine made exclusively from chardonnay.
We will visit a small and exclusive grower in Mesnil-sur-Oger. It is a family winery, but bigger than most. They have 18 hectares of vineyards mainly in Mesnil and in the neighbouring villages. The only use their own grapes in the winemaking producing wines with much finesse and concentration.
Lunch will be at the beautifully designed restaurant “Les Avisés” in Avize. The restaurant, which is also a small luxury hotel, is owned by the champagne producer Champagne Jacques Selosse. He has his winery next door. We will have a 3-course menu with different styles of champagne, including Selosse’s amazing ones.
We end the day with a visit to the Vallée de la Marne and during this visit, we will go even deeper into the secrets of Champagne by also tasting the still wine, called in French vins clairs. So “champagne” without bubbles, before the second fermentation. Very exciting. Afterwards we taste also some champagnes of course.
Early evening we are back in Reims. The evening is free. You can relax and perhaps go for a stroll in the town in search for a glass of champagne. Should not be too hard to find!
Saturday, Day 4 — The Big Houses, and organic champagne
We will start the day in the city of Reims itself, where some of the “Big Houses” have their offices and cellars. So the morning bus ride is short.
Our first visit today is at one of the big and famous houses. There are a handful of them who have made Champagne famous around the world, thanks to a long history, delicious champagnes and big marketing budgets.
First, we go underground. The impressive underground cellars, the oldest dating from Roman times, where millions of bottles are ageing, is something you must see while in Champagne. After our tunnel walk, it is time to taste the champagnes of this famous house.
We will continue up to the famous Grand Cru villages Verzy and Verzenay in the Montagne de Reims. Our first stop will be to admire the beautiful view over the vast vineyards from the “mountain”.
Our lunch will feature some of the classic cuisine champenoise, very elegant with top-quality raw material. It will be accompanied again by a selection of champagnes, today of the more full-bodied Montagne de Reims-style.
After lunch, we will visit a small champagne grower in Verzy, an organic wine producer. He will explain how it is possible to make great wines in the cool climate that they have in Champagne without having to spray the vines with traditional pesticides. He will of course also give us a good taste of the excellent end result, his champagnes
At the end of the day we return to Reims. Free evening.
Sunday, Day 5 — Heading back home
The tour ends after breakfast. Departure.
The program may be subject to minor modifications.
Tour Details — wine tour in Champagne
Price per person: This is a sample program. Look in the menu “Our Tours > Scheduled Tours” to check what scheduled tours are currently on the program or contact us to discuss a custom made private wine tour.
Included in the price:
- 4 hotel nights, double occupancy, including breakfast, good quality mid-range European style hotel in Reims
- Meals as described in the program above (*):
- 3 gastronomic lunches including champagne, of which at least two private meals at wineries
- Start and end point: Reims
- Bus transport during the whole trip
- All vineyard and winery visits
- Private, high-quality tastings at wineries, approx. 3 per day
- Interpretation from French as needed (some visits may be in English)
- Wine guiding and wine tutoring by an expert BKWine guide
- Travel (flights) to the destination and back from your home location.
You organise your travel to the destination yourself. If you want assistance with organising your flight tickets etc, please contact us.
We warmly recommend that you plan a few extra days here if you have the time! It is a very interesting place and well worth some “non-wine” tourism too! We can assist you with booking additional hotel nights if you want.
For this trip to take place we must have a minimum of 4 participants registered at the “book before” date. Maximum number of travel guests: 8.
Book This Tour
Read more important information about travel terms and conditions, customer protection, and the contents of our wine tours. And why you should choose BKWine when travelling on a wine tour.
You book by contacting Britt Karlsson, BKWine:
- phone: +33 1 58 88 04 66 or +33 6 80 45 35 70 (+33 is the country code for France)
- Skype: “bkwine”. Call us on skype.
- email: email@example.com
More on our wine tours
About the wine producers and wineries we visit
Our aim is that you shall experience some of the best and most interesting that the wine region has to offer, both wine and food.
We put a big effort into finding and creating outstanding winery visits. Often it will not be the most “famous” and internationally well-known wineries that will give you the best and most unique experiences…
It is usually when you get to meet the winemaker or winery owner himself (or often herself) that the visits become really exciting. And perhaps we even meet the whole family at the estate.
You start discussing and start to understand what it is they do and why in the winery and in the vineyard. Maybe we will also have lunch in the winery or at their home. Need we say we invariably have private wine tastings at the wineries?
That is why our trips are not “jam-packed” with visits at wineries. Nevertheless, we often run short of time since the discussions – and the wine tastings – can easily become very engaging…
Our wine country tours typically include a mix of small family producers, exclusive boutique wineries and larger internationally well-known wine estates, all selected with great care so that it will give you a unique experience of the people and of the behind-the-scenes in the winery and a good understanding of the wine district’s characteristics, tradition and culture.
At the time of publishing a travel program, not all visits have been finalised. We are continuously working on improving the program. The domaines / wineries / châteaux that we visit on a tour may therefore sometimes differ from what was written in the original program. Contact us if you want more details, or if you have any special requests.
With our contacts and our experience from the world of wine with more than 20 years as wine journalists, with more than 10 wine books published, and as wine tour organisers, we have unique contacts and unparalleled knowledge. You can be certain to get the best wine travel experiences with BKWine Tours.
On meals: food and gastronomy
Wine and food are intimately linked. That is part of our wine travel philosophy; wine is an integral part of the gastronomy.
A wine tour with BKWine will therefore also be a gastronomic experience.
The meals that are included in a tour with BKWine are on a gourmet level and of very high standard.
Sometimes we will have a meal with a winemaker, perhaps in the wine cellar or at the winery, or even in their home. This is a unique experience that is generally not open to other visitors to wineries. It is an occasion to experience exciting combinations of food and wine while discussing with the people who made the wine.
Sometimes we will have a luxurious meal at a gourmet restaurant. At other times it may be not at a prestigious luxury address but at a local restaurant selected for its presentation of local gastronomic specialities, its atmosphere and its quality – a place where locals go. Or perhaps it will be a buffet lunch made at home by the winemaker and his wife. In all cases, we want to show you local gastronomic specialities and the local food and wine pairings.
Do not expect a picnic with salad and sausage from the supermarket and wine in plastic mugs… Think instead of a wine-and-dine experience with a menu designed by the chef for you with three or four courses and delicious wines.
A wine tour with BKWine is also a culinary experience both for the wine enthusiast and for the gourmet. A gourmet wine tour!
Customer protection and financial travel guarantee
BKWine AB is a Swedish-registered tour operator. As such BKWine has a so-called financial travel guarantee deposit with the oversight agency called Kammarkollegiet according to Swedish law as well as EU regulations. Thanks to this you can feel safe when booking your tour with BKWine. Our travel terms and conditions are based on the guidelines developed by the Consumer Protection Agency (Konsumentverket) in collaboration with the travel industry. Read more on this in our travel terms and conditions.
The below information is required as specified by the travel industry oversight agency. All “packaged tour operators” are required by law to have this information in their tour programs:
“The combined travel services that you are offered constitutes a packaged tour in the sense defined by EU regulation 2015/2302.”
“Therefore you benefit from all the EU rights for packaged tours. The company BKWine AB will be responsible for that they packaged tour as a whole is completed correctly.”
“In addition, the company BKWine AB has, as required by law, a protection to repay your payments, and in the case that transport is included in the packaged tour, assure your home transportation in the case that they become insolvent.”
“More information about essential right according to EU directive 2015/2302.”
Read more on this on our page with information about customer protection.
Health, vaccination etc
Our tours have no particular health requirements. However, on a wine tour, you are likely to be walking around in vineyards and in wine cellars, and visits and tastings may often be done standing up. Read more on this in our travel terms and conditions. Contact us if you have any questions.
Most of our travel destination have no particular requirements for vaccination, health or health certificates. What kind of vaccinations etcetera that may be required depends on your nationality and/or which country you come from, so it is impossible to give generally valid detailed information. Read more on this in our travel terms and conditions and contact your doctor, a health and vaccination centre or us if you have any questions.
BKWine does not sell travel insurance. If you want travel insurance check if your regular home insurance includes some kind of travel insurance or contact your regular insurance company or a travel insurance specialist.
Why travel with BKWine?
We are experts and specialists in wine and food tours and wine tourism, but also in wine from a broader perspective.
No other tour operator has a comparable knowledge and experience of wine, wine regions, wine tours and gourmet travel as BKWine.
We have organised hundreds of wine and food tours. This is what we love to do because it is fun and exciting. What we want more than anything is to share with you all these wonderful experiences.
Our tours are not designed to make you buy wine from a specific producer, in contrary to some that are organised by importers or wine retailers or by wine tour companies affiliated with wine sellers. Instead, we can choose the winery visits that are best for you!
It does not matter if you are “a total novice” on wine and food or if you have life-long experience in the wine sector. We will give you a very special experience, in a way that no other tour operator can do.
We write in specialised wine magazines and one of our books has won the prize as best wine book in the world. We are regularly called on to be part of judging panels in wine competitions.
We personally visit some 300 vineyards every year. We have organised several hundreds of wine and food tours with an experience going back more than twenty years. We are invited as speakers at wine tourism and culinary touring conferences. Even the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) and the World Bank have as us for advice on wine tourism. We are proud to have been able to help!
We choose our tour destinations and winery visits with great care. Not because a winery happens to be carrying a “famous name” but because they will give our guests — you! — a unique and special experience when you visit them with BKWine.
You may be looking for a short wine weekend holiday or a longer wine vacation; in all cases, you can be confident that you will get a top quality tour, an experience of a lifetime. Or at least an experience that will last you until the next time you come on a wine tour with BKWine. Many of our travellers are returning clients.
A wine and food tour with BKWine is always guided by a knowledgeable and experienced BKWine guide and tour manager, someone who knows the ins and outs of wine, of the local gastronomy, of the culture and who speaks the language.
Some Awards and Mentions
Some accolades we at BKWine and our wine and food tours have received:
- “World’s Top Wine Tours” by Travel + Leisure Magazine, the world’s biggest travel magazine
- “Best wine tasting holidays”, AOL Travel’s list of top wine tours
- “Recommended Wine Tours” by Munskankarna, the world’s biggest wine tasting and wine appreciation association
- “World’s Best Wine Book for Professionals” as well as “Best Wine Book of the Year”
- Runner-up as “World’s Best Educational Wine Book”
- The OIV (International Organisation of Vine and Wine) book award, the prestigious “Nobel Prize of Wine Literature”
- “Wine Personality of the Year” by Munskankarna, the world’s biggest wine tasting and wine appreciation association
- On the Wine Media Power List by Wine Business International Magazine
Read more on why to choose BKWine for a wine and food tour.
Read more on what previous travellers have said about our tours.
Our groups are always small. The group size may vary, sometimes maximum 8, sometimes 20, but always of modest size. We do not do “minimum 20, maximum 45”. Check the details in each program. This is important since it guarantees a quality experience and a personal welcome at the wineries we visit.
Read the BKWine Booking Terms and Conditions here. They are important to you!
You organise your travel independently to the destination for most of our tours but on location, we take care of everything.
For more inspiration
Read our wine travel blog. And also:
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Newsletter on wine
Subscribe to our free wine and travel newsletter, the BKWine Brief. Each month, it gives you news from the world of wine, restaurant recommendations, tips on our favourite wine producers and much more. And keeps you updated on upcoming wine and food tours.
We also do custom wine and food tours if you want to choose different dates or if you want something different than what we currently offer on our scheduled tours – for individuals, companies, professionals, wine tastings clubs etc.