Towns and villages
Two important towns
Famous as the town of Coronation - only two of all kings of France have not been crowned here - Reims is also renowned as the capital of the Champagne Region. The beautiful Gothic Cathedral attracts many visitors from all over the world. So do the Grande Maisons de Champagne that are established in town for decades and which cellars house within their walls some of the most prestigious champagne wines in the world.
South of Reims, in the heart of the vineyards, is the town of Epernay. If Reims can be considered the head of the Region, then Epernay is the heart! What makes the town appealing is the famous Avenue de Champagne lined with many eminent Grande Maisons de Champange. Walking down this avenue it is impossible to guess that underneath the pavement is a maze of tunnels where the precious beverage sleeps waiting for the next opportunity for a celebration!
A few Grand Crus villages
Situated in the heart of the Montagne de Reims, one of the most prestigious areas of Champagne, the village of Verzenay is full of charm. Like many villages in the region it is a village of winegrowers. But Verzenay has its own particularity: a 25m high lighthouse standing over an ocean of vines! Why a lighthouse so far away from the ocean? This one was built in 1909 by a wine merchant who wanted a high building to advertise. Wasn’t he a pioneer in communication? Nowadays it is a museum retracing the local history of champagne making.
Located in the Marne Valley, the village of Aÿ and its vineyard are renowned for centuries: around year 344 the Gallo-Romans already knew them! Here again, the development of the village is narrowly bound to that of the champagne production. It is said that King Henri IV, so much liked the champagne that was produced in Aÿ that he used to say “Wasn’t I King of France I would have loved being Lord of Aÿ”!
A picturesque village located in the heart of the Côte des Blanc, Oger is reputed for its champagne wines. It is encircled with vineyards, mainly of Chardonnay. The village is also renowned because every house, every building, every square is full of flowers. It has even won a European award in 2005!
Le Mesnil-sur-Oger is a charming village situated south of Epernay, in the very heart of the Côte des Blancs.