Join us in The Champagne Region on Wednesday 15th-18th April 2020 for a European Wine Tour like no other! The highlight of our visit will be a private dinner at the House of Taittinger's Château de la Marquetterie with each course paired with the Taittinger Champagne Collection.
The Champagne Region
The Champagne wine region is the most northerly wine growing region in France and its unique chalky soils and climate provide ideal growing conditions.
There are around 14,000 wine growers in the Champagne region, 30,000 hectares of Champagne vineyards, and more than 320 million bottles sold every year with demand growing.
The Champagne region is the only area in the world that can legally produce and market bottles labelled 'Champagne' and there are specific laws in place that govern where and how the grape is grown.
We will be visiting the regions of Reims, Epernay and Bouzy.
We are proud to introduce Richard from The Wine School of Cheshire who is considered to be Cheshire’s foremost authority on wine tasting and wine knowledge, with a wealth of expertise in the industry that spans more than a quarter of a century.
Richard, WSET qualified and the founder of the Wine School of Cheshire, with his 27 years of knowledge about all things wine, we are extremely proud to have teamed up with him to offer exclusive wine tours, with Richard joining us in leading the tour as our wine expert.
In partnership with The Wine School of Cheshire and Cresta World Travel we have put together a bespoke itinerary showcasing the best that the Champagne region has to offer.
Our tour will include plenty of free time too, allowing guests to take in the sights and gastronomic delights of Reims and Epernay as well as private tastings in Bouzy.
Designed to replicate the intimacy of one of Cheshire wine school events, this remarkable wine journey is for a maximum of 15 guests and Richard will lead the group, with Karen and Andy being your tour Managers.
We have arranged transport from Paris Charles de Gaulle airport based on sensible flight times from Manchester allowing guests arriving from other destinations to time their arrival - should you wish to stay on in Paris or Reims for a few days before or after, regular connections are available into the city, and we will help in any way possible.
Reims is an Art Deco style city, due to most buildings being destroyed in the First World War, and the city was extensively rebuilt in the 1920s in an Art Deco style.
The larger Champagne Houses referred to as 'Les Grandes Marques' have their head offices in Reims.
Hotel de la Paix
Rooms All rooms offer multi-channel television, a writing desk and a sofa. A shower, a hairdryer and bathrobes are also included.
EN SUITE BATHROOM
Bathtub shower combination
Bathrobe & slippers
Optional upgrade to ‘Privilege’ rooms for £60 per person, subject to availability.
Hotel de la Paix
We will be staying for three nights in this 4 star contemporary Hotel de la Paix in the heart of Reims.
The hotel is a short walk from the Notre Dame Cathedral where the Kings of France were crowned and is well worth a visit. There is also a pedestrianised area with shops, bars and restaurants, perfect for your free time.
‘TRADITION’ ROOM FEATURES
In-room air conditioning
Tea and coffee facilitiesI
Dining Breakfast, which is included in your stay, is available from 07:00 till 10:30. The restaurant menu features seafood dishes. In the 24-hour bar, enjoy drinks and light dishes.
Leisure The hotel features an indoor swimming pool and a patio for guests' entertaining. A gym and a fitness centre are available for hotel guests too.
Internet Wireless internet is available in the entire hotel free of charge.
You will be met at Paris Charles de Gaulle airport where your private transport awaits you to take you to the Hotel de la Paix in Reims,
(based on EasyJet EZY1927 from Manchester [dep 14.15] arriving Paris Charles de Gaulle 16.45
OR Air France AF1069 from Manchester [dep 14.30] arriving Paris Charles de Gaulle 16.55). For anyone travelling from London there are many flights available to fit in to these times.
The transfer time from Charles de Gaulle to Reims is approximately 2 hours.
After check in there will be a welcome aperitif available in the hotel before dinner at a typical French brasserie.
Please advise us of any dietary requirements in advance.
After breakfast and a leisurely morning you will visit the chalk caves of Champagne Taittinger in Reims for a private tour and tasting. Founded in 1734, the Taittinger Champagne house is based in Reims and is run by a family dedicated to keeping their legacy alive by honouring its rich history and dedication to producing fine wine.
Taittinger is one of the last great Champagne Houses to be owned and actively managed by the family named on the label.
The family are guardians of Taittinger's style, quality and integrity. With its vineyard ownership being one of the largest in Champagne, Taittinger can guarantee a flawless signature, and wines heralded worldwide for their consistent quality.
Today the Reims based House is headed by Pierre's grandson, Pierre-Emmanuel Taittinger and his son and daughter Clovis and Vitalie.
You will visit the chalk pits, or Crayères, dating back to the 4th century and the Gallo-Roman era, which were carved out for the purpose of extracting blocks of chalk before becoming, 900 years later, the cellars of Saint Nicaise Abbey. The chalk pits were joined by a network of corridors connecting the cellars, crypts and vaults to separate the Champagne with which the Benedictine Monks traded.
You will then have some free time in Reims where we would recommend you visit the gothic cathedral of Notre Dame, a UNESCO World Heritage site that has played a central role in the history of France for 800 years. The kings of France were crowned here.
Worth a mention also is the Museum of Fine Arts, the Palais du Tau and the Musée de la Reddition (Museum of Surrender) where Germany unconditionally surrendered to General Eisenhower in 1945.
Reims City Centre is the largest shopping centre in the Champagne-Ardenne region of France, home to over 400 shops. There are also many delightful cafés and restaurants in the pedestrianised area, so there is plenty to do and see during this free time.
On your return to the hotel you have time to refresh for dinner before travelling to Château de la Marquetterie, an 18th Century Château privately owned by the Taittinger family, for a wonderful private dining experience.
Château de la Marquetterie
Château de la Marquetterie is a gem of Louis Quinze style, preserved for posterity by Champagne House Taittinger. The Château clings to a Champagne hillside covered with vines, overlooking the western part of the village of Pierry, south of Epernay.
From 1760 until the French Revolution this handsome 18th Century stately home was the country retreat of famous writer and father of French fantastic fiction Jacques Cazotte.
At harvest time, Château de la Marquetterie would become the venue for a glittering gathering of the French literati of the 18th Century, Voltaire and André Chénier to name but two. Two centuries later, young cavalry officer Pierre-Charles Taittinger also fell under the charms of Château de la Marquetterie, which he discovered on joining the command of Marshall Joffre who made his headquarters here in 1914.
So smitten was Pierre-Charles that he acquired the Château in 1934, placing a precious piece of Champagne heritage in the safe-keeping of the Taittinger family whose emblem it remains to this day.
This is a private Château and is not open to the public. We are very privileged to have access to this wonderful venue for a very special dinner paired with Taittinger champagnes.
This is an occasion to dress for!
Take a look at a sample dining menu from the Château de la Marquetterie below.
After breakfast you will visit a very small family run Champagne house in the grand cru village of Bouzy, where the vineyards are classified as 100% Grand Cru.
Here you will experience how a small passionate family works so hard to achieve great things with their small production.
Then you will travel to Epernay for lunch at a traditional restaurant, followed by a visit to the Avenue de Champagne. Here you will visit a Champagne House established in 1834 for a tour of their small intimate cellars and a tasting.
You will then have time to stroll along the famous Avenue de Champagne in Epernay, home to many of the worlds most celebrated Champagne Houses.
You could choose to relax on one of the outdoor terraces whilst enjoying a bottle of Champagne, or visit the small town of Epernay with the lovely wine shops and cafes.
There will be free time this evening, on returning to the hotel in Reims.
After breakfast and checking out of the hotel, it is time to head back to Paris for the return flight to Manchester, or further afield if you choose to make onward arrangements to stay longer.
The transfer from Reims to Paris Charles de Gaulle is approximately 2 hours arriving in time for the following flights:
EasyJet EZY1926 from Paris Charles de Gaulle [dep 15.05] arriving Manchester 15.30
OR Air France AF5010 operated by FlyBe [dep 14.50] arriving Manchester 15.30. For guests travelling back to London there are a larger number of flight departures available.Manchester 15.30)
Includes the following:
Transport for the whole trip including transfers to and from the airport.
Accommodation in 4 the star Hotel de la Paix Reims in ‘Tradition’ rooms.
Breakfast each day and one other meal per day including drinks, as per itinerary.
Champagne house visits and tastings.
Flights (if preferred these can be arranged by Cresta World Travel on booking confirmation and the cost of the flight will be added to the cost of the Wine Tour).
Drinks extra to those included with meals.
Compulsory travel insurance with medical expenses and repatriation (can be arranged through Cresta World Travel if not already in place).
Personal expenses at the hotel
Single room supplement of £172.50
Optional upgrade to Privilege room £60 per person, subject to availability, with single room supplement of £202.50
Total cost for 4 day Champagne tour (excluding flights)
£1280 per person
Based on 2 guests sharing (Double or Twin room).
A 30% non refundable deposit is payable on booking.
Remaining balance to be paid by 5th February 2020.