Forget sparkling wine—if you want to drink real Champagne, you’ve got to visit the Champagne region of France, the only area in the world allowed to call its product by that name. Within the Champagne region lies the town of Epernay, home to the famous bubbly-maker Moet and Chandon. You can tour the cellar, but unfortunately you’ll only get one to two glasses of tastings (depending on how much you pay for your ticket).
Moet and Chandon isn’t the only purveyor on the most deliciously named street in the world: L’Avenue de Champagne. Be prepared to spend some serious cash as you wander from Mercier to De Castellane! You should probably make De Castellane the first stop on your Champagne tour, as it features a 66-meter tower. Climb the 200-plus stairs to the top, and you’ll be rewarded with an amazing view of the town and surrounding vineyards. Once safely back at the bottom, you can quench your thirst with Champagne, of course.
Where is it? Just over an hour (by train) from Paris (check prices).
Where to stay? Just steps from L’Avenue de Champagne, the aptly named Hotel Jean Moet is a converted 18th century mansion with lots of history.
What else should I know? Tours of the three main vineyards will each take about an hour.
Who’s it for? Drinkers, anyone with something to toast, people who need to get out of Paris for a bit and relax.
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