The Clos de la Rose B&B property is a perfect base to visit and tour the Champagne wine route. We are located 5 minutes only from the West end of the Champagne vineyards.
After breakfast, you can start your visit of the Marne valley from the small village of Saacy towards Epernay. During the day you will see famous places like Charly sur Marne, Chateau Thierry and Hautvillers. Hautvillers is the cradle of Champagne. In the church of the old abbey you will see the tomb of the famous monk Dom Perignon who first discovered the technique of how to make the world famous sparkling wine.
Leaving the Clos de la Rose bed and breakfast to the north via the D68, you will see very quickly the Marne valley and the first vineyards. Continue down the hill, cross the small willage of Saacy and find the bridge to cross the river. Once on the other bank of the Marne turn right and head east. On your right hand, the river is never far away. On your left there are vineyards as far as the eye can see... The old and charming village of Charly sur Marne is only 15 minutes from our B&B.
5 minutes only from Le Clos de la Rose Bed and Breakfast: the Champagne vineyards.
The old charming village of Charly sur Marne produces some outstanding Champagne.
A little further on, you will find Bonneil nested in a remarquable site. The vineyards are protected by the hill from the cold northern winds in Winter. They are oriented South, getting maximum of sunshine. From Charly to Chateau Thierry, the main grape variety is pinot meunier. These vineyards used to be almost unknown until recently. In the old days, a good Champagne could only come from the Epernay or Reims area. But the well informed wine (and Champagne) lover now knows that in this western Champagne area a new younger generation took over from the parents. Some 20 years ago the children of the local winemakers started studying how to make wine in a more scientific way. And today you will find in this area some of the best opportunities: great champagne with an excellent value for money. At le Clos de la Rose we will be delighted to share with you our best addresses.
The village of Bonneil is nested in a loop of the river Marne
Growing on steep hills, the vineyards are looking southwards to the sun
Jean de la Fontaine was born on the 8th of July 1621. For more than 20 years he was in charge of the rivers and forestry in this region. The territory he was in charge of was extending as far west as our village of St-Cyr sur Morin. It was probably due to his official activity that he got so well aware of animals' habits and way of life. Jean de la Fontaine lived at the time of King Louis XIV. At that time it was not easy to criticise the King. This writer found a subtle way of doing this: his stories feature animals whose personalities, facts and sayings could easily be compared to the people of that time. In fact, we could say that Jean de la Fontaine invented Disney 350 years before Walt Disney! :-))
The visit of Chateau Thierry and the house of La Fontaine should be considered only if you have more than one day to tour the Champagne area.
Jean de la Fontaine was born in 1631 and is maybe the most famous French writer since ever
Inside of the house of Jean de la Fontaine in Chateau Thierry
Hautvillers is one of the most charming villages in the champagne area. Close to Epernay (5 kilometres only) Hautvillers had a very special destiny. In the old abbey of the village, a monk named Dom Perignon first discovered how to produce a sparkling wine and created the first Champagne wine.
Hautvillers is overlooking Epernay and the Marne valley.
Dom Perignon is buried in the church of the former abbey of Hautvillers
Do not forget to visit the church of the former abbey at Hautvillers. There you will see the tomb of Dom Perignon, the monk who discovered first how to make Champagne. If by any chance you are there by mid-day, you may consider having lunch at the restaurant de l'Abbaye just on the opposite of the abbey. It is a good place well known in the area for its cuisine. Especially when weather permits, it is very pleasant to eat out on the terrace.
Hautvillers is a very charming village
Pay a visit to the local antiques shop. You might find some very fine objects related to the Champagne. A must for wine lovers.
Suggestions for the afternoon
After Hautvillers, drive downhill to Epernay, capital city of the Champagne area. Epernay with its 28,000 inhabitants, 30.000 hectares of vineyards and millions of bottles aging in some 110 kilometres of cellars excavated in the chalky rocks! Take some time to visit one of those famous and prestigious champagne houses (Mercier, Moet et Chandon, De Castellane). Most of them are situated along the avenue de Champagne and the nearby streets. N.B.: take a warm sweater with you since the temperature inside the cellars is rather low even during the hot summer days!
Some of the most spectacular cellars
Champagne Mercier, 70 avenue de Champagne, Epernay. Tel 03 26 51 22 22
Mid-March to end of November, open every day from 09:30 to 11:30 and 14:00 to 16:30 In Winter, closed on Tuesdays and Wednesdays as well as from mid-December to beginning of January. Entry fee for the visit (includes tasting), 6 EUR / person.
House founded in 1858 with beautifully decorated cellars. 18 kilometres of galleries you will visit partially aboard a little electric train.
Champagne Moet et Chandon, 18 avenue de Champagne, Epernay. Tel 03 26 51 20 20
Open 7 days, from March to mid-November. Closed on weekends and bank holidays during the Winter. Fee for the visit: 8 - 21 EUR depending on the type of tasting you chose. Some 28 kilometres of galleries where 90 million bottles are aging! Moet et Chandon was founded in 1743. It is the biggest wine house in Champagne. The visit lasts approx. 1 hour (on foot).
Champagne De Castellane, 57 route de Verdun, Epernay. Tel. 03 26 51 19 11
Every day from mid-March to end of December, from 10:00 to 12:00 and again from 14:00 to 18:00. You can visit the museum and the cellar for 6.50 EUR. House founded in 1895, remarquable for the famous tower (66 metres high) where from you will discover a wide panorama over Epernay and the vineyards. The museum presents how the work was conducted in the vineyards in days gone by as well as the different stages of champagne making.
In the evening
Depending on time, you might come back to the Clos de la Rose bed and breakfast on the smaller roads via Montmirail or join the A4 motorway and be back within 1 hour. Take exit 19 towards La Ferté sous Jouarre. To visit the area from Epernay to Reims and the city of Reims, another day is necessary...