Ultimate Champagne Tasting in Reims Guide

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Visiting Champagne is always a good idea. For those who love bubbly and want to immerse themselves in the culture, history, and flavors of this delightful beverage, you know you’ve got to pay a visit to the largest city in the region: Reims. To help you plan the perfect trip, this is the ultimate Champagne tasting in Reims guide! 

I recently spent 4 days exploring the ins and outs of both Epernay and Reims and can honestly say, “Wow!” 

Did I feel a bit like a bubble after those 4 days? Yes, but it was honestly such a great experience to try various Champagnes ranging from large and smaller houses to everything in between. 

So let’s talk about everything you need to know about Champagne tasting in Reims including the best Champagne houses to visit in Reims, best tours, fun facts, and even a sample 1-day itinerary! 

Row of Veuve Clicquot

Ultimate Champagne Tasting in Reims Guide

There are many ways to visit Champagne, so let’s talk about how to best explore Reims! 

What is Champagne?

Champagne being poured into glasses

First things first, what is Champagne? Aside from being a wine region in France located in the Grand Est, it is a delightful sparkling wine that is made in the Champagne region. 

You’ve probably heard that Champagne is only called Champagne if it is made in this region of France, and that is true. But it also has to be made using the Traditional Method or Methode Traditionelle. 

This means that there is a second fermentation process, where yeast and sugar are added to the bottle with the wine and it is fermented a second time in the bottle. Then, after aging, the bottles go through riddling, which is a process where the bottles are angled down and then turned each day until the dead yeast cells (lees) settle in the neck of the bottle.

Then, through a process called disgorging, the neck is frozen and the lees are removed. And finally, sugar can be added to the wine before it is sealed again.

This process makes the lovely Champagne that we know and love today. 

Can you find other sparkling wines in France made this way? Of course! Only it will be called Cremant rather than Champagne. 

Fun Facts About Champagne:

Close up of champagne bottles
  • Grapes used in the production of Champagne are typically Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, and Pinot Meunier
  • Vineyards have been planted in Champagne since Roman times
  • Before the Traditional Method of Champagne making became popular in Champagne, it was known as a fault for the wine to be effervescent. Later on, it became popular amongst royals and winemakers started trying to produce sparkling Champagne
  • Dom Perignon helped perfect the Champagne making process
  • Madade Cliquot invented the process of riddling to get rid of the dead yeast cells in the wine

Alright, now that you have a brief history and understanding of how Champagne is made, let’s talk about Champagne tasting in Reims specifically. 

Best Champagne Houses in Reims

There are Champagne houses all over the region, with grapes coming from the 5 subregions: Montage de Reims, the Marne Valley, Cote des Blancs, Cotes de Sezanne, and Cotes des Bar. 

I’ll mention a few Champagne tours you can take from Reims to other houses in the countryside, but for now, let’s talk about the best Champagne houses in Reims you can visit. 

1. Maison Ruinart

4 rue des Crayères, Reims

Ruinart Champagne Bottles

If there is one Champagne house that you must visit in Reims, definitely head to Maison Ruinart. This is the oldest established Champagne house. In fact, their cellars are a UNESCO World Heritage Site. 

The house began in 1729, and the cellars are actually located in old Roman chalk quarries. I went on this tour on my recent visit to Reims and it was epic!

First of all, the cellars were incredible and you could see old mine steps! They also have an art installation in the largest quarry. Definitely book a tour to see it during your time in Reims. 

Champagne Tasting in Reims - Ruinart

They also do brunches on weekends for €80 for adults and €45 for kids under 18. 

Tour Price: €75 for adults. Includes 2 tastings of their Champagne. 

2. Taittinger

Residence of the Counts of Champagne, 20 rue de Tambour, 51100 Reims

The origins of this Champagne house date back to 1734, with the founder, Jacques Fourneaux, working closely with Benedictine monks to learn how to make Champagne. 

In 1932, Pierre Taittinger acquired the estate and changed the name. This place also has cellars made from old Roman chalk mines, and they are one of the largest producers of Champagne. 

They are not currently offering tours of the cellars, but they plan to begin the tours again in July 2024 after renovations. You can, however, go on a virtual tour of the cellars.

They do offer tastings which include 2 of their Champagnes to taste. 

Tasting Price: Starts at €37 per person. 

3. Veuve Cliquot

1 rue Albert Thomas, 51100 Reims

Tasting a glass of Veuve Clicquot

Veuve Cliquot is always a super recognizable bottle. That iconic yellow label can be spotted far away. So why not visit where it is made in Reims?

Not only is the bottle iconic, but we can thank the widow Madam Cliquot herself for many things about Champagne today! For starters, after her husband passed away, she took over the wine business. “Veuve” in French actually means “widow.”

She is credited with creating the first vintage Champagne where all the grapes in the bottle are from the same year versus blended with other years. She also invented the riddling table to get rid of the lees. 

Learn more about her life and accomplishments, as well as visit the UNESCO World Heritage Site chalk cellars during a tour. 

There are quite a few tours offered here, including the Yellow Label tour, blended rose tour, La Grande Dame tour, and more! Be sure to book a tour with a cellar visit! Each includes a tasting of their Champagne. 

Tour Price: Starts at €35. 

4. Champagne Pommery

5 Place du Général Gouraud, 51100 Reims

Champagne Tasting in Reims - Pommery

This is definitely a popular spot to check out, mostly because you can do a self-guided tour of the Pommery Champagne house in Reims. 

Plus, this house also has a strong female history, with Madame Pommery inventing the first Brut Champagne, a drier Champagne.

With UNESCO World Heritage Site Gallo-Roman chalk cellars, it is definitely worth a visit. Learn about the wine-making process and the history of the house with a self-guided digital and audio tour. There is also a contemporary art exhibition to witness. 

The tour also wraps up with a glass of Pommery Brut Royal Champagne. 

And if you want to have a tasting and lunch, you could book the Gastronomic Visit where you will go on a guided tour and end at the restaurant with a food and Champagne pairing. 

Tour Price: Starts at €27 for adults. 

5. Champagne Pol Couronne

11 Cours Jean-Baptiste Langlet, 51100 Reims

Champagne Tasting in Reims - Pol Couronne

Located close to the famous Reims Cathedral, you can book a tasting at the boutique of Pol Couronne

While you could certainly just do a tasting or split a bottle to enjoy either inside or outside, the best thing you can do is book the sabrage.

Sabrage is the art of opening a bottle of Champagne with a saber. This place is the only one in Reims to let you do this! We did this during our last visit and it was so much fun and easier than I thought it would be. 

Oh, and after you’ve popped the Champagne you get to enjoy it. 

Tasting Price: Starts at €28 for 3 tastings. The sabrage starts at €52. 

6. G.H. Mumm

34 rue du Champ de Mars, 51100 Reims

Another popular Champagne house in Reims, you can schedule a visit which includes a tasting. The history of this house dates back to 1827, and you can visit their lovely cellars and have a tasting during a tour. 

Their tours help you understand Champagne from the inside. Learn more about the house and wine during a tour

Tour Price: Starts at €28.

Champagne Tasting in Reims - Ruinart tasting

7. Champagne Lanson

66 Rue de Courlancy, 51100 Reims

Another one of the oldest Champagne houses in Reims, it was founded in 1760, and their Champagnes are enjoyed in over 80 countries.

There are a few tours that you can book here, and they share their history as well as how they get their grapes all the way from the vine to the flute. This is definitely one of the best Champagne houses to visit in Reims. 

Tour Price: Starts at €32.

8. Champagne GH Martel & Co

17 Rue des Créneaux, 51100 Reims

GH Martel Champagne House

This smaller Champagne house sits in the middle of the city. It also has chalk pits that date back to the Medieval period, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. 

Visits here include a visit to the cellars as well as 3 tastings of their Champagne.

Tour Price: €25. 

Best Champagne Tours in Reims

Champagne Ruinart Cellar

Honestly, you could book and go to most of the Champagne houses on your own. Many are either walkable or you could take a short taxi or Uber ride. And many houses are fairly close together including Pommery, Veuve Cliquot, and Ruinart Champagne. 

However, if you are short on time or want someone else to handle all the logistics, here are a few tours you can take of Reims Champagne houses. 

1. Paris to Reims Champagne Tour

This tour is for those who only have time to take a day trip from Paris. Thankfully, as Paris is only about 45 minutes away via train and 1.5 hours via car, it really is fairly easy to visit here on a day trip. 

This trip takes you from Paris to Reims where you’ll visit 2 Champagne houses and have tastings at each and a local restaurant or winery for a 3-course lunch. 

Book it here!

2. Reims Champagne Tour

Enjoy tastings at 2 Champagne houses, Pommery and Veuve Cliquot, as well as tour their cellars during this tour of Reims. The tour also includes a 3-course lunch with a Champagne aperitif. 

Book it here!

3. E-Bike Tour Through Champagne 

Want to get out of the city and explore Champagne a little deeper? Then, definitely book this tour where you’ll see Avenue de Champagne in Eperany, explore the historical village of Hautvillers, ride through a UNESCO vineyard, enjoy a cellar visit with tastings, and have a local lunch with Champagne.

Book it here!

Vineyards in Hautvillers

4. Sabrage Workshop

Want to learn about the history of Sabrage and even open your own bottle of Champagne with the saber? This is a great workshop that goes into the art of sabrage. 

Book it here!

Champagne Tasting in Reims - Sabrage

5. Private Champagne Tour From Reims

Want a private tour with your friends or family around Champagne from Reims? This is a great tour that includes stops at Hautvillers Abbey, Avenue de Champagne, a vineyard, and a winery and has plenty of tastings.

Book it here!

Perfect 1-Day Reims Itinerary Including the Best Champagne Houses in Reims

Reims Cathedral

If you only have a full day to explore Reims, then you better do it right! Here is a quick 1-day itinerary for Reims. 

Start out the morning with a quick stop for breakfast and coffee at a bakery. You’ll need something on your stomach before a day of sipping Champagne. 

Then, head to the Reims Cathedral. This is definitely a must-visit during your Reims itinerary as it is where the French kings were coronated. 

This Gothic cathedral has origins dating back to the 5th Century, but the currently constructed cathedral was completed in the 14th Century. 

After a visit to the Reims Cathedral, head to Champagne Ruinart for a tour of their cellars and tasting. We booked the 10:45 am tour when we went. But the earlier the tour the better, so that you can enjoy your 2 tastings and lunch today.

Bottles of Champagne Ruinart

Once you’ve wrapped up your Champagne Ruinart tour, I recommend grabbing lunch down the street at Le Refrectoire at Pommery for a lovely meal paired with a glass of their Champagne. 

Then, I recommend booking the afternoon visit of Veuve Cliquot for the Yellow Label tour. Make sure you have enough time between Ruinart, lunch, and this!

After that, book a later sabrage with Pol Couronne to wrap up your time tasting in Champagne. 

Once you’ve enjoyed your Champagne tastings in Reims, I recommend Brasserie Le Boulingrin for dinner and perhaps grab a glass of Dom Perignon at the rooftop bar at Restaurant Gabrielle Toit Terrasse

Where to Stay in Reims

Hotel in Reims

I recommend spending a full day and night in Reims to get the most out of your experience here. Here is where to stay based on your budget:

Budget: VRBO

Reims can get pricey when it comes to hotels, so you can definitely check out Airbnb or VRBO for great home rentals. This rental is in the downtown area and has all the comforts of home. 

Book it here!

Mid-Range: Best Western Premier Hotel de la Paix

Located in the heart of Reims near the cathedral, this is a great place to base yourself for exploring. It also has modern rooms, a cocktail lounge, a sauna, and an indoor heated pool. 

Book it here!

Luxury: La Caserne Chanzy Hote & Spa

This is where I stayed last time in Reims, and honestly, it was because I had Marriott points and this is a Marriott hotel. However, it was amazing! Not only did I have a room with the best view of the Reims Cathedral, but it was just a great location overall. They also have a lovely spa with a hammam, sauna, pool, and a place for a massage and other spa treatments. 

Book it here!

Other Things to Know About Champagne Tasting in Reims

Kat and Megan with Champagne glasses

Here are a few other things to know before you go Champagne tasting in Reims:

  1. Book tastings and tours in advance! It can be a bit busy, and tours and tastings fill up quickly. I recommend booking everything in advance if you can. This isn’t like other wine regions in France where you can just show up. Most tours require a reservation, and many need a reservation for tastings too. I suggest booking directly on their website, or with Champagne-booking.com
  2. How many Champagne houses can you see in a day? 2-3 is the most you really want to do in a day. You need to allocate time to get to each place, and tours can last between 1-2 hours. But, if you have lunch at one with a restaurant, like Pommery, you can sneak in a taste of their Champagne but during a meal rather than a full tour. 
  1. When to visit: May through October is generally the best time to visit Champagne. The weather tends to be better this time of year, and you can even witness the harvest in September. However, April was when I visited and I found it far less crowded and still lovely. Just dress warmly as it is a chillier region of France.
  1. Reims Champagne tours which are best? Personally, my favorite was the OG: Champagne Ruinart. I loved the presentation of the Champagne as well as the epic cellar tour. 
  1. How long do you need to visit Reims? At least a full day, but I highly recommend spending a couple of days to really get to see the city sites as well as visit Champagne houses. 
  1. How long should you visit Champagne? I spent 4 days between Epernay and Reims and, while I felt like it was a great amount of time for both cities, I feel like another couple of days would’ve been perfect to explore the countryside.
  1. How to get to Reims: You can easily get to Reims thanks to the train station. Fly into Paris and take the 45-minute train to the city. You can also rent a car and drive from Paris. 
  1. How to get around Reims and Champagne: You can mostly walk around Reims, but some Champagne houses can be on the other side of the city, so calling a taxi or Uber is a good idea. For visits to the countryside, you can either rent a car, go on a tour, or hire a private driver. DO NOT drink and drive! Always have a sober driver if you plan to drive yourselves. 

I hope this helps you when it comes to planning your Reims itinerary and going Champagne tasting in Reims! Which Champagne house in Reims would you most like to visit?

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4 thoughts on “Ultimate Champagne Tasting in Reims Guide”

  1. Hi there very helpful blog……
    do you have the correct address for Champagne Pommery?
    When I enter it in Google Maps it shows a location in Bordeaux!
    Perhaps a Google Maps glitch.
    Greg

    Reply
    • Hi Greg, and thank you! There are a lot of roads that are copied in cities, so if you just type in the street address and not the city, it’ll likely take you somewhere else. If you put in the address with Reims, it should pop up.

      Reply
  2. Thank you so much for your post. It was very helpful! Thanks to your recommended timeline, we have a train booked from Paris (April 2024) to arrive at Reims at 9:15am. 10:45am appt at Ruinart and a 3pm at Lanson. We wanted to go to Pommery as well but weren’t sure we’d have time between those two appointments to do the full tour/tasting (since we also need to eat lunch) …so we took your advice to book a lunch at Pommery’s Le Réfectoire at 1pm instead since it’s nextdoor to Ruinart and then we can at least try the Pommery champagne with lunch. Question: We only have 2 hours at Pommery before our 3pm at Lanson. I was really hoping to see the Pommery cellars. They allow for a self-guided tour ticket at 2pm. Do you think 1 hour is long enough for the lunch and is 45 min enough time to walk the cellars (i’m assuming self-guided tour, we can do it on our own time). Then we’d uber to our 3pm Lanson reservation. (Unfortunately Lanson only offers 3pm tours, nothing later). Thanks so much!

    Reply
    • Hi Beverly! Thanks so much for reading! And yes, we didn’t have time to see Pommery either so we grabbed lunch there and is was delicious! I’ll say that to be safe, I wouldn’t book the Pommery Tour ahead of time. It is self-guided, so chances are if it isn’t busy (which when I went last year it wasn’t in April but you never know) you can check it out before going to your next tasting, but in France, lunches can take up some time. That way, if you are running late and need to go straight to Lanson you aren’t out of money. But the Ruinart tour will also include a cellar visit, so you’ll get to experience the historic cellars while in Reims. I hope this helps and have fun!

      Reply

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