France is renowned for its variety of fine champagnes, and they all come from a generalized region of France. Tours of this region provide the history and display the care that goes into each and every bottle.
Reims is the major city within the champagne region, but it isn't the only city. The separate vineyards are scant miles from each other, but they all offer their own distinct elements to the champagne they produce. One thing is consistent throughout the region, however, and that's the panoramic splendor of the rolling hills and rich vineyards that create a landscape worthy of remembering.
Contrary to popular belief, the bubbly wine was not mistakenly invented by Dom Pérignon. In fact, the first productions of champagne go back to the early 1500's when Benedictine monks began bottling wine before it had finished its fermentation. The result was the trapped air that produced bubbles, but it proved to be acidic in taste. More than 100 years after that, sugar was added ... nearly ten years before Dom Pérignon was said to have "invented" the beverage.
France's champagne region has many houses, such as Moët & Chandon, Piper-Heidsieck, Veuve Clicquot, and practically a myriad more, each one willing to open their doors to tourists so that they can share the love of their brand with the world. A guided tour usually involves a walk through the vineyards, a visit to the production area and, of course, a trip to the cellars where the champagne is stored and aged. Tasting of the champagne is always the best part of the tour!
Since the champagne region is a mere 1-1/2 hour drive from Paris, it is a perfect way to spend a sunny day in France, and while you're there, don't forget to visit some of the other areas surrounding the champagne region that give it its charm., like the Notre Dame Basilica in L'Epine, or the Sedan chateau.