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Reim Champagne guided tours- need suggestions

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My daughter and I are taking the train from Paris to Reim the last week in August. We will spend the day in Reims. We found a tour by Cris (www.cristourschampagne-ardenne.com) where you had a 4 hour tour by minivan to tour and taste at 2 or 3 smaller caves as well as see some of the scenery. We thought we would take the 4 hour tour and then visit the Cathedral and visit one of the big name houses on our own. We sent emails to him that were on on his website but have had no response to them. People raved about his tours not that long ago but he doesn't respond.

You Hounds always have good suggestions so do you know how I can contact Cris or do you have another suggestion on a good 4 or 5 hour tour that we could book for when we arrive in Reims? Also what big name house would you suggest we visit? My daughter went to Mumm 7 or 8 years ago so I thought we would select a different house to visit even though she liked that tour.

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  1. I'm not familiar with that tour company, but just looked at the description of the tour you mentioned. It sounds interesting. On their home page there is a Contact button that leads to an email address, a French phone number and a reservation link.

    If you want to tour one of the large hoses in Reims, Id like to suggest Pommery. Their tour is fascinating. They have a German tank in their cellar, a leftover from the occupation iin WWII! An interesting story, needless to say. There is also an art museum down there, and often live music. Pommery has a very interesting history in Champagne.

    Before you go, you might like to read the book "Champagne" by Don and Petie Kladstrup. It's the fascinating history of the wine and the region. The Champenois are surely survivors.

    1. You should contact Jiles Halling at http://www.mymaninchampagne.com/.

      Jiles is a very knowledgeable, plus he's a great guy.

      Marilyn

      1. We visited Reims last week, and while we did not do a guided tour and so cannot offer suggestions, I second the suggestion to visit Pommery. Mumm was very informative, and a great introduction to the Champagne process, but you'll be past that by the time you've done all your touring. The Pommery tour is more of an art walk through some spectacular chalk caves. Some of the pieces that have been installed this year were far better than they have any right to be. If you and your daughter each get the two tasting option, you can try one of each of the four champagnes and share them all.

        You will likely need to get a taxi from the city centre/Cathedral area, or it's a somewhat quiet 30-minute walk.

        1 Reply
        1. re: smellymay

          Thanks so much. We will book Pommery. It looks really good. Ruinart also looks like a good tour but they are closed. Wish I had a bigger group - Jiles looks great.

          Cris responded so we can take his tour. Even though I must say Jiles looks like a better tour.

        2. Very timely posting for me as we are also in Reims on Monday and Tuesday of next week. We are staying in the centre of town but will have a car and were hoping on visiting one of the large houses on the Monday. Tuesday we are driving from Reims to Blois and so we thought we might the scenic route through Champagne country and perhaps stop at one of the smaller maison.

          Having never been to a champagne house I was hoping for a good overview from one of the large houses and then perhaps something a little special or different at one of the countryside vignerons. So far the lonely planet hasn't been very helpful as its only real suggestion seems to be Tattinger.

          Thoughts?

          4 Replies
          1. re: delys77

            To delys77 and susieq4, I second (or third or fourth) Pommery if you have never been especially for the history and for the magnificent chalk caves. The art is hit or miss sometimes depending on your taste. Hopefully, you will get a good tour guide as that can add to the experience as well. All of the big maisons are different and if you have the time and money, it's fun to visit a few. In response to delys77 and driving from Reims to Blois, I would suggest going to Hautvillers, a charming little village where Dom Perignon is buried. There is a very good cooperative as you drive up into the village though I doubt it is open in August. If you would consider taking more time exploring the region before driving to Blois I highly recommend going south of Epernay and visiting the Côte de Blancs. The views are lovely and there is so much excellent champagne to be had! I also recommend the book chefJune cited. I would add Robert Joseph's book too, specifically the chapter on champagne and the Champagne region (http://www.amazon.com/French-Eyewitne...
            )We have driven most of the scenic routes he recommends. As far as small producers--you often have to call to make appointments (since they are busy working). Try to find one place and make an appointment and hope to find other places with their doors or gates open. Have fun!

            1. re: tortoiseshell

              Thanks so much Tortoiseshell, Hautvilliers is on the way so we will definitely make a stop. I just realized in late August that many of the small producers will be busy with vendanges, am I correct?

              1. re: delys77

                I'm not sure when les vendages will start this year but it is usually in September so I think you are okay. You will see lots of grapes on the vines!

            2. re: delys77

              Taittinger has a fine tour, but nothing to compare to Pommery's (although I prefer their Champagne!).