For a champagne aficionado a trip to Épernay is a lifetime ambition. The Avenue de Champagne is a who’s who of champagne houses, where Moët et Chandon, De Castellane and Mercier are all cosy neighbours. You’ll be led beneath the earth to 200-year-old tunnels where the steady cool temperatures allow champagne to mature in peace.
Sparkling wine practically runs through Épernay’s veins and gave the town its wealth and dignified architecture like the stately town hall, the Château Perrier museum and the Théâtre Gabrielle-Dorziat. Be sure to call in at all the main house and then you’ll be free to strike out on the Champagne Route for winery visits, châteaux and other engaging fragments of history in green countryside.
Lets explore the best things to do in Épernay:
1. Avenue de Champagne
Whether you’re in Épernay to quaff the exalted beverage or not, the Avenue de Champagne needs to be your starting point.
That’s because this is where the town’s most magnificent architecture is found, in the shape of stately 19th-century mansions built for Champagne houses like Moët & Chandon and Perrier-Jouët.
Their past is linked inextricably with Épernay’s.
As you go you may get a frisson to know that you’re walking on one of the richest streets in the world, as beneath your feet are many miles of chalk tunnels where endless racks of champagne are quietly maturing.