H E R I TA G E
H IS T O R Y
DE STIN ATION
PO RT RAIT
Above: The Château d’Etoges is set within its own moat and features stunning gardens and guest facilities. Right: On the Champagne Route near Urville in the Côte des Bar Champagne region.
pal wine-growing areas and main champagne centres of Épernay and Reims. Épernay is home to famous champagne houses such as Moët & Chandon and Mercier, and many offer informative tours and tastings. Also worth a visit is the cool cellar-and-bar C Commes, where you can sample champagnes from independent winemakers. It’s only a 6-kilometre drive north of Épernay to the picture-perfect village of Hautvillers, where champagne was first created three centuries ago by Dom Pérignon, cellar master at the Hautville Abbey. In the village square you’ll find the tourist office where, for a few euros, you can enjoy a walking tour with an explanation of Pérignon’s life. North-east of Hautvillers, in the wooded hills around Verzy, is Perching Bar – the world’s first champagne bar in the trees. To complement the golf and champagne experience, stay at one of Champagne-Ardenne’s many historic châteaux. A classic example is Château d’Etoges, situated 25 kilometres south of Épernay and surrounded by vineyards. This impeccable 17th-century château overlooks a moat and boasts 20 individually appointed bedrooms furnished with antiques. The château of choice for playing Golf de Reims is Domaine Les Crayères, a two Michelinstarred gourmet retreat nestled in the heart of the champagne city. Northeast of Reims and close to Golf de l’Abbaye de Sept Fontaines is Château de Montaubois, run by likeable husband-and-wife team Jean-François and Elizabeth Monteil, who have spent three decades restoring the château to its former glory.
Published on Jun 20, 2013
The official magazine of the French Tourist Bureau in Australia. From the grit and excitement of the Tour de France to the glamour of its ma...