France Travel Planner by Tom Brosnahan & Jane Fisher   Champagne Taittinger, Reims, France
One of the largest houses in Reims, Taittinger's caves have a long history.

 


 

 

 

The Taittinger Champagne House is in the city of Reims, about 1.7 kilometers from the Tourist Office by the Cathedral, and just a couple of blocks from the Basilica Saint-Remi (map). You can easily walk from the town center or take a bus.

Taittinger's property has an unusual history and geology. The site dates back to Roman times, and indeed some of the 4 kilometers of chalk vaults are from Gallo-Roman times. The trapezoidal tunnels were dug and carefully shaped to prevent the ceilings from falling in. These vaults have been named a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Champagne Taittinger, Reims
Tour members amidst the Gallo-Roman chalk caves, with bottles of champagne on all sides.

This location was for centuries a religious site, culminating with the 13th century Gothic church Saint-Nicaise. Considered a gem of Gothic architecture, it had beautiful stained glass and harmonious architecture. Along with its abbey, it was sold and demolished during the French Revolution. You can see a model of this church the Taittinger's lobby, and at several points in the tour you will see 13th century staircases that led to the church.

Taittinger's tour is a walking tour with about 25-30 people per group. The visit starts with a short video about the champagne making process and Taittinger. Visitors then descend 64 steps and entering an area where the temperature is 12 degrees celsius (54F). After a short visit at this level, you'll descend another 30 steps and 2 degrees to the lower level of the chalk caves.

During the tour, you will walk by bottles and bottles of champagne in various stages of the aging process. The tour guide will make several stops to explain the various steps in the process of making champagne, as well as special facts about Taittinger.

We learned, for example, that Taittinger's grape harvest takes about 3 weeks and engages 800 people. By law, all champagne grapes must be harvested by hand—no machines. This protects the delicate grapes and minimizes breaking the skins.

In addition, Taittinger ages its wines considerably longer than what the law requires—about 3 years rather than the minimum 15 months for "regular" champagne; about 5 years for vintages; and ten years for comte de champagne, their premium label. The comte de champagne is a "blanc de blanc," made only from white grapes.

At the end of the tour it's time to come up for the tasting. You then have a choice of a lift/elevator or climbing the 95 steps to the tasting room. Our group all opted to climb!

Taittinger offers a ranges of tours and tastings, from a single tasting of Brut Réserve to the chance to taste several glasses, including their comte de champagne. Prices vary accordingly. And of course there is a shop where you can buy champagne and champagne-related gifts.

For an idea of some other champagne visits, check our pages on visits to Canard-Duchêne, Mercier, Möet et Chandon, and Pannier. And for more information on champagne and what makes it unique, check out our page All About Champagne Wines.

Champagne Taittinger
9, Place St Nicaise
51100 Reims France
+33 (0)3 26 85 45 35


What to See & Do in Reims

What to See & Do in Épernay

Champagne House Visit

All About Champagne Wines

Hotels in Reims

Reims Restaurants

Reims Transport

Épernay Transport

About Reims

About Épernay

Champagne Region

 

 

Champagne Taittinger, France

Above, Bottles, bottles, and more bottles. As you tour, you'll pass many of these small caves, with bottles packed tightly throughout. Some go back quite a distance, so you can assume that there are a lot more bottles that you can't see!

Below, After the tour, time to taste some of Taittinger's champagne!

 

Champagne Taittinger, Reims, France

 

 

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