Veuve Clicquot is one of the most well-known champagne brands in the world. Located in Reims, France (about a 40 minute train ride from Paris), there are amazing champagne houses that all have impeccable tours and drinks. I always knew I wanted to go champagne tasting in France and having the opportunity to visit Veuve Clicquot’s champagne house was a must-do for the bucket list!
The Tour – On the Footsteps of Madame Clicquot
On arrival, I was welcomed into a gorgeous modern facility with about ten travelers waiting for the tour to start. The group was the perfect size – big enough to make you feel like you’re part of a group but, small and intimate as well. Veuve Clicquot’s iconic gold color was painted throughout the facility and you felt regal because of the surroundings.
Our host, who dressed in a suit and spoke English, did a brilliant job of thoroughly explaining the history of this famous champagne house. We journeyed through an underground cave where every single Veuve Clicquot bottle is stored for years, until they’re shipped for celebrations, events and milestones worldwide. Travel Size Tip: It was a bit chilly underground so make sure to bring a sweater! Also, keep in mind that this is a working facility with forklifts and employees zooming past us as the tour guide spoke.
Our tour guide shared the story of the now deceased Madame Clicquot, who took over the wine house after her husband passed. Fun fact – the word Veuve is actually French for “widow”. She ran the champagne business and kept the champagne in production long after her husband died. This tour was all about her achievements of keeping the company going long after her husband. What an amazing story of a business woman who wouldn’t let nothin’ stop the show #BOSS!
Okay let’s get to the good stuff, the champagne! Immediately after the tour, our group was escorted to a private bar near the lobby of the champagne house. Our tour guide served us and explained how to smell, taste and enjoy each flute. We did a group toast to a great experience and relaxed while enjoying their amazing champagnes! It was lit! Once the champagne started flowing we all started chit-chatting and had our own make-shift happy hour.
Booking the Tour
I booked the tour (On the Footsteps of Madame Clicquot) about a month in advance before arriving in France. The reservation process was very easy – only a few emails between me and the Veuve Clicquot staff and I was set. There are a few options of tours but I chose this one because of the English-speaking guide, ability to tour the underground champagne caves and the tasting of brut Yellow Label cuvée and cuvée La Grande Dame. Even though the tour I took was mid-priced at €50 ($60), there’s a €25 ($30) tour, Discovery, for those who want an experience at a more affordable price.
Travel Size Tip: You must make reservations ahead of time to attend any of their tours. Visit Reims, France tourism website to explore Veuve Clicquot and other champagne houses in the region for your next trip to France. Cheers!
Have you been champagne tasting in France? Do you have any questions about my experience? Let me know in the comments or find me on Twitter @TravelSizeTips