Your first stop in the champagne region must be Moet!
One of our favourite places to visit is the champagne region in France. Moët & Chandon is situated on the iconic Avenue de champagne in the heart of Epernay France. This year we decided to go back to Moët & Chandon with friends to let them experience a tour of a large house and of course to pick up some champagne.
For almost 18 years we have been visiting Epernay in France for champagne tours and tastings. We could never tire of the beautiful countryside, relaxed atmosphere and the taste of champagne.
20 Avenue de champagne
When we first visited the region we started by visiting the larger well known houses, some of these are geared towards tourists, Moët & Chandon is one of these, However it is a lovely place to visit with a fantastic tour that is very informative.
Moët & Chandon is situated at number 20 Avenue de Champagne which is in the town of Epernay in the Vallée de al Marne. The house was founded in 1743 By Claude Moët and they are the largest producer and supplier of champagne in France. Producing 26 million bottles a year of which the majority goes to the US as they are their biggest consumer.
Experience the tour at Moët
Thier champagne making and sheer production has somewhat evolved over the years. We have even noticed a change in taste since we started visiting 20 years ago.
If you would like to book a tour of Moët & Chandon you can easily do this by booking online. A tour costs €23 euros which includes a tasting of their traditional champagne. You can choose to pay more for two glasses or a taste of their vintage champagne also. Under 18s are €18 with no taster and children under 10 are free.
Your tour guide will tell you a short history on Moët & Chandon followed by a film showing you the production of champagne. You will then be taken on a tour of some of their cellars followed by a tasting of your chosen champagne.
Step into the Cellars and into a world of vintage wines
The visit is by foot and lasts approximately 45 minutes. There are a few stairs but it is no way exhausting. The cellars have a natural temperature of between 10˚and 12˚so you may need a light jacket whilst underground even in the summer. You will hear about the history, the growing of their grapes and what goes into a vintage champagne. Their oldest champagne in the cellars is a vintage from 1869.
Learn about the different grape varieties Chardonnay, Pinot noir and Pinot meunier
Moët & Chandon have 1,150 hectares of vineyards in around the region 50% are Grand cry and 25% are premier cru. Their vineyards grow all three different varieties of grapes used to produce champagne, Chardonnay, Pinot noir and Pinot meunier. This in turn leads to a wide range and diversity of fruit with different tastes. This also enable’s them to produce and select the best grapes for their champagnes and grand vintage.
Taste a traditional Brut Moët or fresh rośe
Before you visit the shop you will have your tasting of champagne. It is worth doing the taster of both the traditional and the rosé as its nice to try them together. You will finish the tour with the chance to purchase some champagne. However we have been reminded previously that it’s not a cash and carry, We do like to take our champagne home with us! The shop is truly beautiful with a wide range of champagnes, glasses and accessories. Pick up your traditional brut, a bottle of Moët ice or a bottle stopper as a souvenir of your visit.
Moët & Chandon is the perfect start to your exploration of champagne and just a small look at what there is to offer.
With many wine houses to visit Moët is a good place to start learning about the process of the Champagne making. We soon came to realise that the independent growers in Premier and Grand Cru villages also produce some fantastic wines. These Champagnes are very reasonably priced, plus you will have fun tasting them. We have since visited many others and sometimes a few in a day. I hope you look forward to seeing these insights. Stay tuned for more champagne tours.
If you fancy trying something in another region pop over to my Travel Monkey to see how they got on in Burgundy for the weekend.
You can take a look at our private champagne visit to Krug here too.