“In victory, you deserve champagne. In defeat, you need it”. Winston Churchill
The Champagne Route, or Champagne Trail, refers to a stretch of vineyards in the “Champagne” area of northern France. This 250-mile trail is the home of our favourite celebratory drink, and offers plenty of opportunities to try it at source.
The champagne makers here include small, lesser-known outfits, famous independents and well-known brands swallowed up by large international groups such as Louis Vuitton Moet Hennessy. Charles Mignon House has been home to a line of crafters stretching back hundreds of years. Delavenne & Fils is a sleeker, 20th-century operation. Many of the houses are open to visitors. You can take a basic tour and tasting, or an take a miniature train first.
One downside: Apart from visiting the Champagne houses, you won’t find much to do. The area is short on historical monuments. That said, check out the cathedral at Reims and the Château d’Étoges, a magnificent 17th-century place which used to be a regular stopping point for kings of France.