Tour and Taste in France's Champagne Region at Epernay & Reims
Please have your shoulders and knees covered when entering the Cathedral. Be sure to wear good walking shoes.
There are some wonderful photo opportunities on this tour. Please be prepared for weather changes.
2 Champagne Tastings
Tour Participation Requirements
Moet & Chandon produces around 28 million bottles of champagne annually, but the winery is probably best known for one of its smaller scale brands: Dom Perignon. The name comes from the Benedictine monk who pioneered the methode champenoise technique of taking wine and fermenting it a second time – to create the bubbly many like to enjoy on New Year’s Eve. Contrary to popular belief, Dom did not discover or create the method itself.
But his influence on the champagne industry in France was enough to inspire Moet & Chandon to develop a Dom Perignon’s name-sake vintage. The first champagne barrels were fermented in 1921, but weren’t released until 1936. As a vintage champagne, Dom is only made in years when the grapes are at their finest and it includes only grapes harvested in that year. Some champagnes incorporate grapes of various years, so they’re not entitled to the “vintage” moniker.
Approximately 5 million bottles are produced during the vintage year, comprising 60 percent Chardonnay and 40 percent Pinot noir grapes. A minimum of 12 years is allowed for the aging process to give Dom its elegant, silky finish. Before you ask, the answer is “NO”: Dom is not one of the tastings you’ll experience during your visit.
Champagne by Accident?
If champagne wasn’t discovered by Dom Perignon, who was it? There may never be a historically account of how the French sparkler came about, but one theory is certainly credible: By accident. Due to its location in the northern part of France, the Champagne does experience cold weather in the winter. When the temperature reaches a certain low, it will disturb the fermentation process typical of wine making. With the arrival of spring and warmer weather, the yeast in the wine would go through a second fermentation, which results in Champagne’s signature bubbles.
Full refunds issued for cancellations made 7 full days prior to the date and time of requested services. Cancellations made within the 7-day and 72-hour window will receive a 50% refund of purchase total. Purchases are non-refundable inside of 72 hours.