Champagne is a region of France that is known for just one thing: Champagne! It is a word that is synonymous with celebration, good fortune and good times. Champagne is produced from vines that were first panted by the Romans. Those vines produce a sparkling wine that is produced by encouraging a second fermentation within the bottle to effect carbonation. The resulting wine was so highly regarded that it was used to anoint French kings and the celebrate their ascension to the throne.
The town of Epernay in Champagne, France is home to one of the biggest producers of champagne: Moet et Chandon.
Today the company has over 1,000 hectares of vines under cultivation, and they produce about 26 million bottles of champagne annually.
Like all good wineries, Moet et Chandon encourages visitors to its cellar doors, and has guided tours so that visitors can learn about how champagne is produced and to taste the ensuing product.
Epernay is very easy to reach from Paris by rail, which is an ideal way to get there as the Moet et Chandon winery is located just a few minute’s walk from Epernay station.
Explore the Moet & Chandon cellars in Epernay or visit the Mumm Champagne House and Reims Cathedral. This region is a large draw card for lovers of fine wine with plenty of day tours throughout the area on offer.
Frequent trains run to Champagne-Ardenne, with direct fast (TGV) trains leaving every hour and only taking 45 minutes. There is also a direct regional service from Paris to Epernay, which takes just over an hour.
You will be able to use these trains with any pass that covers France; however any fast trains you take will require a compulsory seat reservation before you hop on. Regional trains do not require a seat reservation.
The fast trains make for an easy day’s outing from Paris, and if you are going to try the famous products, then taking the train home may just be the best way to do it.