A dream come true for me – going not only to THE Champagne region, but specifically to what I consider heaven, the Veuve Clicquot Champagne Cellars! A true Bucket List item checked off!!
Champagne has been my choice of beverage and Veuve Clicquot beats them all out….ok, maybe not Cristal … but yes, even Dom Perignon and the other bubbles that consistently are at the top of the list. And to get the chance to see where these tasty bubbles are born & created – yay!!
Just to give you a little background of why I was so thrilled to go on the Veuve Clicquot tour, if you know me at all, you might say I really like champagne, but truly I am a bit obsessed with Veuve Clicquot. I even named two of my kittens after the champagne: one ‘Veuve’ and the other ‘Clicquot’ 🙂
While on vacation in Paris with a couple of friends, we planned to make a day trip to Reims, France (aka the Champagne region). By train it’s only about an hour trip. Besides ‘heaven’ being there 😉 Reims is a charming town/city and worth the trip just to experience something besides the big city of Paris.
We started out with a nice lunch that included fabulous garlicky frogs legs and of course, a glass of Veuve Clicquot to start the day off right! Since the champagne cellar tours are by appointment, we needed to head to the Cellar after lunch. Most vineyards & cellars are outside of town, we called a taxi and off we went!
The tour for me was fascinating! Heading down to the caves and tunnels we saw bottles & bottles of the wonderful bubbly aging and also learned a lot of the history of how Veuve Clicquot started the vineyard, the processes & techniques she invented to produce a quality champagne (which other champagne makers adopted) and finished off with a tasting of the lovely Grande Dame champagne.
After our wonderful tour we had time before our train back to Paris to explore Reims a bit more. Besides the adorable shops in town, do make time to visit to the Notre-Dame Cathedral. It is a tremendous cathedral and every inch of it is decorated with detailed stone carvings, sculptures and glass. One special sculpture is the Smiling Angel – I have her picture below, keep an eye out for her by the entrance.
I leave you with this quote from my idol, Madame Clicquot
I drink Champagne when I’m happy and when I’m sad. Sometimes I drink it when I’m alone. When I have company I consider it obligatory. I trifle with it if I’m not hungry and drink it when I am. Otherwise, I never touch it – unless I’m thirsty.
Tour information: There are three different tours, ranging between 1 hr – 2 1/2 hrs in length. Tours are by reservation Tuesday – Saturday. Cost is between 16-90 Euro per person. More information in the Veuve Clicquot brochure or visit the Veuve Clicquot website.
Great book: If you’re interested in learning more about the Champagne industry and about the great entrepreneurial feats of Madame Clicquot, I recommend this book. “The Widow Clicquot: The Story of a Champagne Empire and the Woman Who Ruled It” by Tilar J. Mazzeo )
(this article is NOT sponsored, it reflects my honest opinions.)