Well-to-do Épernay, home to many of the world’s most famous champagne houses, is the best place in Champagne for touring cellars and sampling fizzy wine. The town also makes a good base for exploring the Champagne Route. By rail, Épernay, which is 25km south of Reims, can be visited as a day trip from Reims – or even Paris.
Beneath the streets in some 100km of subterranean cellars, 200 million bottles of champagne, just waiting to be popped open for some sparkling celebration, are being aged. In 1950, one such cellar – owned by the irrepressible Mercier – hosted a car rally without the loss of a single bottle! Épernay is a commune in the Marne department in northern France. Épernay is located some 130 km north-east of Paris on the main line of the Eastern railway to Strasbourg.
Gibraltar – Top of the World Arctic Circle © Monika Newbound