SUMMER CHAMPAGNE WEEKEND
Friday 19th – Sunday 21st July 2013
organized by Wine Voyages, and escorted by Christos Ioannou.
If you have ever wanted to visit this fascinating area, discover the secret of the bubble, and find out what makes champagne the celebratory drink par excellence, then this is the weekend for you. You will see the miles of cellars dug out of chalk where millions of bottle age gracefully, learn how champagne is made, and discover what makes it so special. The town of Reims where we will be based has many other attractions including a stunning cathedral, as well as lots of lively bars and nightlife.
I have organised several of these trips in the last few years and have excellent contacts with many small producers - the visits to them are always the highlight of the weekend.
You can see the rave reviews of a previous trips in this link: http://www.meetup.com/The-London-Wine-Dining-and-Travel-Meetup/events/16657433/
We will leave from Victoria, London early on Friday morning around 7.30 am in a comfortable, air-conditioned coach. There will be an option to be collected from Stop 24 service station at Junction 11 on the M20, one junction before the Eurotunnel terminal, where you can park for approx. £6 per day. We will arrive in Reims late afternoon and go straight to visit one of the major Champagne Houses like Taittinger or Mumm where we will have a tour of their extensive cellars and a glass of their non-vintage champagne.
There will be the option to join a group dinner this evening in a local restaurant close to the hotel for a cost of around £35 which will include a set 3 course meal, a couple of glasses of wine, mineral water and a tea or coffee. Or if you prefer you can choose one of the many other lively bars and restaurants.
On Saturday we head south to the Cotes de Blanc and the Montagne de Reims to visit two family Champagne producers in some of the Grand Cru and 1er Cru villages where we will have a tour of their cellars followed by a tasting of several of their champagnes. On Saturday lunchtime there will be free time to wander round the town of Epernay.
We will be back in Reims early evening so that you have time to visit the stunning Cathedral, do a little shopping or just enjoy some of the many bars and fine restaurants.
On Sunday morning we will visit our final producer in a village close to Reims. We will return to Reims for lunch and then early afternoon head back to the UK, arriving at London Victoria around 9 pm.
The family producers we will be visiting are all situated in the best villages and have been hand-picked for the quality and value which they offer. At each one you will be able to buy supplies at very attractive prices. The coach has plenty of luggage space though the limit per person is 36 bottles!
The tour includes:-
- travel throughout by full size 53 seat executive coach, crossing by Eurotunnel
- two nights bed and buffet breakfast on a twin share basis (some single rooms and Upgraded 'Privilege' rooms are available at a supplement) in the Hotel de la Paix in Reims. The hotel is very centrally located, and is a good quality 4 star with ensuite facilities, air conditioned rooms, a small swimming pool and Jacuzzi, and a spacious trendy bar. (See www.bestwestern-lapaix-reims.fr)
- visits and tastings at 4 different champagne houses, one Grand Marque and three smaller family producers
- the services of Christos Ioannou as wine expert and tour guide
The cost is £295 per person sharing a double or twin room, with a £55 supplement for single rooms of which there are a limited number. There are also a few upgraded twin/double ‘Privilege’ rooms available for an additional cost of £40 per person (not available for single rooms). If you are prepared to share a twin room with a person of the same sex but do not have anyone to share with, we will try and match you up, but if there is no-one suitable you will have to pay the single supplement. A deposit of £75 is payable when booking, and the balance is due two months before departure.
This trip is priced very competitively as another well-known wine tour operator is charging around £450 with a £90 single supplement on a like-for-like basis for their Champagne Weekends in 2013!
Places will be limited to 35 people and numbers must be finalised by the end of May, but the tour is likely to sell out well before then so please let Christos know as soon as possible if you would like to join the tour. To register your interest in this tour send an e-mail to [masked] to request a booking form
I have been on this tour before and can recommend it. I will also be going this time as I enjoyed it so much last time. To help me keep track of who is going from our group RSVP here and follow the instructions in the email to register your interest.
This tour gets full quickly so my advice is to book ASAP