France Travel Planner by Tom Brosnahan & Jane Fisher   Visiting Épernay Champagne Houses
A trip to Épernay wouldn't be complete without a visit to a Champagne house!



Many of the Champagne houses in Épernay, Reims, and the surrounding area offer guided visits of their caves and facilities. Generally there is a fee, which includes a tasting at the end of the tour for those of legal age.

Some houses require reservations, while you can just walk in to others. Check with the Tourist Information Office to find out which houses are open and their fees and requirements.

The visits differ in character, length, and price. Most are walking tours, though Mercier uses a small train. Champagne de Castellane (known by its ornate tower) also houses a museum of champagne history and the tools used in champagne making.

Some of the smaller houses may simply put out a sign indicating when they are open.

We visited Mercier Champagne. Although not well known outside of France because they export very little, Mercier is one of the largest producers.

We first viewed a short video on the colorful history of the company and its founder, Eugène Mercier, and then rode through the tunnels in the small train. The visit starts with a slow elevator descent to the caves, which is made interesting by various scenes of champagne history and production that come to life before your eyes. As you ride through, you pass by thousands of bottles of champagne in various stages of the aging process.

The lobby is dominated by a huge wooden keg that was transported to Paris in 1889. It held the equivalent of over 200,000 bottles of champagne!

Following the visit, adults have the opportunity to taste the product, and of course there is a gift shop selling champagne and various other souvenirs—cooler bags, glasses, etc.—to enhance your champagne enjoyment.

About Épernay

What to See and Do in Épernay

Épernay Hotels

Épernay Restaurants

Épernay Transport

About Reims

About Champagne

About Champagne Wineries




Mercier giant keg, Epernay, France

Above, Giant keg in the lobby of Mercier Champagne, Épernay.

Below, Champagne display.


Champagne bottles, Epernay, France



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