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Regions à la carte Eastern France

   Region at a glance

 


Major city: Reims

Region known for Champagne production.
Picturesque rolling hills and vineyards.
90 minutes from Paris, making it an easy day trip or overnight from Paris. 
Historical gothic cathedral where France's kings were crowned

Champagne, the very symbol of sophistication, graceful living and celebration, is produced nowhere else in the world. All champagnes are made within a few miles of each other outside Reims and Epernay, near the Abbey of Saint-Pierre where the legendary Benedictine monk, Dom Pérignon, supposedly invented the bubbly by accident in the early 18th Century (some would say by divine inspiration). Just as still wines have different characteristics and tastes, so do champagnes, and the great houses of Mumm, Piper-Heidsieck, Taittinger, Veuve Clicquot and Moët & Chandon, among more than 100 others, want to prove this with guided tours (in English) of their cellars and tasting of the current vintage.

 

Sightseeing centers around Reims and its Notre-Dame Cathedral, the heart of France's royal history where twenty-five kings were crowned. This Gothic structure is one of France's most magnificent churches, and some would place its rose windows among the best in the world.

South of the Champagne vineyards is Troyes, once one of Europe's most magnificent cities. This capital of the Counts of Champagne, who ruled the region before there was a France, is lined with beautifully-preserved half-timbered houses built during the 16th Century. North of Reims are the French Ardennes where Europe's sometimes bloody history has been decided on the fields of Sedan, Argonne and Châlons-sur-Marne, along the rivers Meuse and Marne.

The Champagne region is only a 90-minute drive from Paris, making it an easy day trip.

 

 

Places of interest

 

 

 

Asfeld

Baroque church

Charleville-Mézières

Place Ducale, Rimbaud Museum

Chalons-sur-Marne

St. Etienne Cathedral, Cloister Museum of Notre-Dame-en-Vaux

Colombey-les-deux Eglises

General de Gaulle house and memorial

Epernay

Champagne vineyards and cellars

L'Epine

Notre Dame Basilica

Fère

Bridge and 13th century medieval castle

Hautvillers

Town where Champagne was invented, reconstruction of Dom Pérignon's cellar and laboratory in the abbey museum

Langres

Home of Diderot, Renaissance houses, ramparts

Mouzon

Notre Dame Abbey

Nogent-en-Bassigny

Museum of the "Espace Pelletier"

Novion Porcion

Three Wars Museum

Reims

Champagne cellars, Notre Dame cathedral, St. Remi Museum and Basilica, Palais du Tau, Surrender room, Fine Arts Museum, La Pompelle Fort

Renwez

Forest Museum

Rethel

St. Nicholas Church, Ardennes canal

Revin

View of the Ardennes forest

Rocroi

Museum of the Battle of Rocroi

Saint Ménéhould

City Hall, walks in the Argonne forest

Sedan

Largest fortified chateau in Europe

Signy-l'Abbaye

"Gouffre" de Gibergeon (natural cave)

Troyes

Museum of Modern Art, Workers Tool Museum, churches, Pharmacy Museum

Varennes-en-Argonne

Town where Louis XVI was arrested in 1791, fleeing from Paris

Verzy

Spectacular view of the city of Reims

Villy-la-Ferté

Last fort on the Maginot Line

Vouziers

St. Maurille Church.

 

 

Technical tourism and sports

 

 

 

The Montagne de Reims route (47 miles) starts in Reims and goes to Epernay, home of the famous Moet & Chandon and Perrier-Jouët vineyards. The Marne Valley route (33 miles) begins in Epernay and extends past Hautvillers, Ay, Dizy, Cumières, Chatillon and Vincennes. The Côte de Blancs route (68 miles) goes from Epernay south to Verus and Villenauxe la Grande, an area planted almost exclusively with Chardonnay white grapevines.

River cruises, barging, ballooning, cooking classes.

Biking, hiking, horse-back riding, horse-drawn carriages

 

 

Cuisine

 

 

 

Champagne-Ardenne's refined cuisine incorporates the region's native sparkling wine whenever possible. Whether accompanying the meal (before, during or after) or used in the meal itself (in anything from seafood to chicken), champagne is a very important part of the region's culinary tradition.

Champagne derivatives such as, "Ratafia", "Marc de Champagne" and "Fine de Marne" are also quite popular, as well as other spirits and wines including "Côteaux Champenois" (available in white and red), "Bouzy rouge", "Riceys rose", cider and fruit liqueurs. Desserts include sugar tarts, massepains & croquignoles (from Reims), and Haute Marne's meringue caissettes.