Friday, 12 December 2014

Checking out Champagne

This week we ‘abandoned ship’ to explore next year’s cruise route on two wheels – following the Marne river through the Ile de France and Champagne regions. Despite the chilly weather we received a warm welcome from everyone we met and can’t wait to introduce our guests to this French heartland.

With twinkling lights strung above the road in every village and vin chaud (like mulled wine) at the Christmas markets in Reims and Meaux, the winter season has a charm of its own.

But at the moment the vines are sleeping, leaving the hillsides rather brown - come spring and summer the views across the sloping vineyards and hillside villages from our deck will be amazing.

But what really impressed us was how much more there is to this area than just the bubbly stuff – poignant WW1 history, fabulous cheese, historic villages and vibrant river life. Look out for the full tour itinerary being released on our website in the next month, highlights will include the gorgeous Chateau Champ-sur-Marne, the 18th century Episcopal city of Meaux and of course champagne cellar visits.

Did you know? There are over 10,000 champagne producers, ranging from world famous brands like Moet et Chandon or Pol Roger to small 5th generation family producers.

The famous "Avenue de Champagne" in Epernay is home to many of the big houses including Pol Roger, Moet et Chandon and Mercier.

Meaux lit up at night

Only in France would a building like this be "just" the Tourist Office (in Dormans, which will be one of our mooring spots next summer)

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