Apart from the famous wines, this region is rich with world heritage sites, history and art. Giles Fallowfield bases himself in Reims for a busy long weekend. Read the full guide to Champagne, including the best houses to visit, plus top places to stay, eat, shop and relax.
Champagne travel guide: Six of the best houses to visit
☆ Veuve Clicquot, Reims
The 24km of linked galleries hold more than 32 million bottles. Three tours and tastings are offered, the best of which gives you the chance to taste four vintages, including Cave Privée 1990 and Rosé 1989. By appointment only.
☆ GH Mumm, Reims
Three tours, each including a tasting. The Grands Crus tour includes Blanc de Blancs and Blanc de Noirs (not sold in the UK) from Verzenay that has great richness, depth and complexity. Booking essential. mumm.com
☆ Marguet Père & Fils, Ambonnay
Benoît Marguet focuses on organic production to make best use of the grand cru terroirs his family owns, and makes excellent wines with a strong individual character. By appointment. champagne-marguet.fr
☆ Franck Bonville, Avize
A grower-producer with 18ha of vineyard in the grands crus of Cramant, Avize and Oger. Run by Olivier Bonville who makes fine Blanc de Blancs that express the mineral qualities of this chalky terroir. By appointment. champagne-franck-bonville.com
☆ Tarlant, Oeuilly
On the hilly south side of the Marne Valley around Leuvrigny, Mareuil-le- Port and Oeuilly, Benoît Tarlant makes expressive wines, mostly from Pinot Meunier using little or no dosage. Booking essential. tarlant.com
☆ Roger Brun, Aÿ
Next to the 15th-century church in grand cru Aÿ, Philippe Brun makes a fine range of full-bodied Champagnes which reach their impressive peak in Cuvée des Sires and La Pelle. Booking essential (also has rooms). champagne-roger-brun.com