The city of Epernay, located in the former province of Champagne, and more precisely in the Champagne-Ardenne region, is known throughout the world as the “Capital of Champagne”. Museums of winemaking and sparkling wine producers, tasting rooms, cellars and auction houses are concentrated here. This is all true, of course, but Epernay is also a beautiful city with its own history. Ancient houses, squares and architectural structures – all this is also worth seeing for tourists from Russia during an excursion from Paris. We present you our travel guide book to the city and the Houses of Champagne.
Epernay – Capital of Champagne
In the city and district of Epernay there are a large number of “Houses of Champagne”, which are Museums of winemaking + cellars + tasting rooms. The most famous are:
– House of Champagne de Castellane wines – a large Museum, excursions to cellars and tasting rooms
– House of Champagne Mercier – Museum, the wine cellar tours and tastings
— Dom Perignon — one of the most famous sparkling wine factory
— Moet Chandon is a global brand of sparkling wine drink
— Comtesse Lafond — excellent quality
– Nicolas Feuillatte – also a branded manufacturer
– The whole list…
Museums of the history of winemaking and “excursions of Champagne”.
The production of sparkling wines has not stopped here for several hundred years (!). During this time, the most famous Houses have equipped their Museums of the History of Winemaking, using technological equipment, props, overalls and even printing presses that have been removed for a long time. Museums of champagne, and they are worth a visit, for example, for printing workers or design students as a “practical application to their profession.”
Epernay: the city, the history and the sights.
There are many beautiful old houses in the city center that are worth seeing during a sightseeing tour to Champagne from Paris. You can walk, you can drive. A trip with a Russian-speaking guide is always much more interesting than a simple detour of the city. In Epernay, in addition to tasting rooms, there are also small cozy restaurants where you can have lunch or dinner (it all depends on the program of your trip)
History: World War I and World War II.
Many tourists from the countries of the former Russian Empire (Ukraine, Poland, Finland, etc.) come to France not only as the individuals, but as the officials or the representatives of some various public and veteran organizations. For this category of people, Epernay is also an important place associated with military history. Occupying a “commanding height” above the local river, the city served as an important fortified area for centuries. Epernay as a system of fortifications was most developed after the Franco-Prussian War after the war of 1870 according to the project of General Seret de Riviere (see Reims defense ring and fortification system)
In the center, near the city hall, there are monuments to the fallen locals in the ranks of the French army during the First and Second World Wars. The laying of flowers by officials or members of public organizations, a photo for memory near the memorial – this is both the fulfillment of a patriotic duty and just a humanly small, but important part of visiting this city.
Photo of the memorial to the fallen residents of the city in the ranks of the French army and in the Resistance movement (Rezistans). First World War and Second World War.
Houses of Champagne
Epernay is called “the Capital of Champagne” for a reason. Here, for centuries, the production of sparkling wine has developed, which, according to the name of this province, has become known throughout the world as “champagne”. For several centuries, wars raged on the surface, including world wars, but production was still going on in the basements. This divine drink was out of politics and out of wars, helped by the fact that most of the operations of the technological process took place in deep cellars, which are giant bomb shelters. It is especially pleasant and interesting for tourists that as the equipment wears out or it is replaced with a more “new” one, everything old was placed in a museum and eventually became “old” and antique. The collection of such antiques includes related works – the manufacture of barrels, corks, printing and photography of labels and posters, advertising “tricks” and many items that have long become rare artifacts. The elements of “living history” include the fact that some of the bottles that were stuck in the sand more than a hundred years ago are still in this position and are waiting in the wings at the auction of collection wines.
From a practical point of view, there are several large museums, dozens of real old cellars (“Caves”) and tasting rooms. In one day it is really impossible to visit even a part of everything. According to statistics and reviews of tourists, all excursions can be divided into several types, depending on the wishes.
The House of Champagne de Castellane.
Champagne de Castellane was founded in 1895 and is located in the heart of Epernay, close to the railway station and transport links. The hallmark of the House of Champagne wines “de Castellane” is the famous Tower, built in 1905 by the architect Auguste Toudoir, having a height of 66 meters or 237 steps up. From this Tower de Castellane, which is an excellent observation deck, you can see all the sights of Epernay and the Marne Valley.
– Champagne de Castellane House and Museum Tourist Guide.
Champagne Country – as Epernay is also called, this is a district in the Champagne – Ardenne region. Department of the district – Marne. Subprefecture – Épernay. There are many different attractions in the region, but as a logical continuation or addition to visiting the cellars, it makes sense to look at the vineyard plantations.
Champagne Roads (Route touristique du champagne trip)
Before or after visiting Epernay, it is possible to visit the vineyard plantations on special tourist routes. You yourself can choose your route “Route touristique du champagne”, combining visits to local attractions along the way:
Saint-Thierry – Bouvancourt – Savigny-sur-Ardes (northwest of Reims)
Gueux – Villedommange – Villers-Allerand – Verzenay (south of Reims)
Villers-sous-Chatillion-Fleury-la-Riviere-Champillion-Ay-Mutigny (north of Epernay)
Dormans – Leuvrigny (west of Epernay)
Avize – Vertus – Talus-Saint-Prix – Sezanne – Fontaine-Denis-Nuisy (south of Epernay)
A visit to any of the Houses of Champagne or vineyards can be combined with a sightseeing tour from Paris of the region.