# 9 – Tour some champagne caves in Champagne. Accomplished!
We (naively) did not consider that other people might have the same idea as us on a beautiful spring Saturday in March, so though the goal was to tour two champagne caves during the course of the day, we were only able to tour one. We did see about 4 caves from the outside, and since Reims is not that far from Compiègne, another day trip may happen before I leave.
Still, it was a great day. I woke up early and Becca and I took the 9:00 AM train to Reims. At 11:00 AM we were in the city, and since the Tourist Office chose that exact moment to close for lunch, we walked to the nearest cave, Charles de Cazanove, to see if they had any availability to tour the caves at 11:30. Miracle of miracles, they did!!!
To start the tour, we watched a short video about the production of champagne. Then, we were taken on a tour of Charles de Cazanove’s facilities to check out the different steps in action. Unfortunately, we didn’t realize until AFTER the tour that pictures were allowed (note to self: it’s always worth asking!!), so I have no pictures to share from the tour. Charles de Cazanove is a part of GH Martel and is one of the smaller caves in Reims, but they still produce 3 MILLION bottles of Champagne annually!
After the tour was my favorite part, the “dégustation” (tasting)! We tasted three different types of champagne as part of the tour, and each “taste” was a full flute of champagne! The first kind we tried was a “brut,” which is evidently best used as an apéritif (before dinner drink). The second was a rosé, which should be served with desert. The third was a “millesime” which we were told can be served as you would red wine (ie, with red meat).
The tour was really informative (and tasty!) and my only regret is that the bigger champagne houses had already booked up for the day, so we did not have an opportunity to compare. At least we did see some of the bigger houses from outside, and because our return train went through Champagne-Ardenne, we also got to see some of the French Champagne countryside (which is beautiful).