Tasting Champagne in Epernay, France
I’m a big fan of sparkling wine, so when the chance to pass through the Champagne region of France presented itself we couldn’t pass it up. We headed to Epernay, which has titled itself the capitol of Champagne.
Mercier is the big tourist draw in town. They have set up a full visit package. Tours run frequently and are guided by headset in a variety of languages.
We unfortunately walked in and had a bit of a wait. The tour starts in the lobby with several exhibits, like a wine cask featured at the World’s Fair. The boys enjoyed listening to the recording, although our Middle Little would only listen to the recording associated with the number zero.
The real reason we decided this was a good idea with the kids, though, is that the main attraction is a train ride through the wine caves. We were there on the labor day holiday and therefore no one was working. The train ride was cool none the less.
In addition to all of your typical wine making stuff, the halls of the caves are full of art. There are even rooms down here to host your wedding or event.
My favorite art in the cave was not designed to be down there. The vineyard had a statue made for an exhibit at the World’s Fair, but it was deemed too scandalous, so they moved her underground to the caves.
After the tour is the tasting. We were glad to just have the one tasting included in the tour since the kids were ready to go.
Mercier said we could leave the RV in the parking lot since they were not particularly crowded. We walked down the main street in Epernay, which is lined with tasting rooms. We noticed that many of them also have lodging on the top floors. I would love to take a weekend trip here sans kids to just enjoy the tasting rooms. They all had outdoor seating and looked like a place you just come to lounge and enjoy the wine.
With kids in tow, we pressed to a small playground across from the church. There is also a large skate park where we enjoyed watching some talented skaters try out some new tricks. There are plenty of restaurants here as well, but we opted to pick up some food at the grocery store and cook in the RV.
Our France Passion stay for the night was at Champagne A. Lete. They were the most well prepared for France Passion visitors with a bathroom and even water hookups.
We had a lovely dinner outside, cooking while the children played. In the morning, we visited the house to purchase some champagne. They let us go into the warehouse and see the boxing in action. The boys loved the machine that puts the tape on the boxes!
Before leaving, we walked into the town and picked up bread and pastries at the local bakery. The town was under some construction but is full of more wineries. The town is cute as can be with cobble stones and quiet streets, although we were told during the harvest it is crazy.
I had to snap a picture of this little guy on a building as it reminds me so much of Beauty and the Beast. I love discovering little details when we are walking through towns.
My only regret is that we failed to taste and purchase more Champagne, but I guess that is just a reason to return.