There are very few, if any, more iconic champagne houses than that of Veuve Clicquot in Reims, France. We wanted to touch on this sought-after destination in part because we are headed back there this week! Definitely on our repeat list of places to visit for the history, fun, and of course – the champagne!
On a cool April morning, our tour starts with a quick bit of history on the founding of the house in 1772 and the champagne raine of the ultimate girl boss – Madame Clicquot - who was widowed at age 27, taking over the family business building a champagne empire and truly the best of the best!
It all get’s real when you descend the iconic golden staircase to the caves and cellars where the bottles are aging, and where Madame Clicquot frequented in the 19th century. Wandering in awe, you are filled in on the production process before surfacing to taste the magic! Very cool outdoor setup for tasting, for this reason we recommend that you visit in the warmer seasons so you can enjoy the weather and soak in the surroundings and the brand’s iconic air stream. Book your tour of the champagne house ahead as they tend to fill up quickly, we always favor the options that allow you to taste the most because, honestly, why not? No explanation needed here.
Following our tour we’re met with the marketing director of V.C.P., a black Mercedes, and two glasses of champagne in tow, and we’re ready for our next adventure: a private tour of the summer-home and mansion of La Grande Dame de la Champagne, Madame Clicquot. This has to be certainly the best kept secret of the V.C.P. empire and possibly the entire champagne industry period. Located just north of Reims in Verzy, the cuvee region of grape growing! The rustic French charm of this hidden gem is magnificent, between the architecture, style, and it’s grand entrance.
Walking the private gardens you can gaze at vineyards as far as the eye can see and off in the distance that glorious little town that we very briefly call home – Reims.
Inside the house is the original wine press of the Madame, dating back to the turn of the 19th century. There needs to be a drumroll as you walk through the house and on to the back deck because, wow, the view is absolutely jaw dropping!
We explored the very small French town of Verzy after our private tour, very quaint and simple - population 1,000. A Catholic church is located directly next door to Madame's mansion, and as we stroll the small village we can imagine what this town must have been like during the years of Madame Clicquot and her thriving empire.
When visiting Reims, we always stay at the luxurious and charming Les Crayéres, just minutes away from Veuve and of course, our number one recommendation for the area for hotel stay and dining. If you've only planned a day trip to Reims we recommend having a simple glass of champagne and mid-day snack, taking a little time to explore the gardens and grounds of Les Crayéres.
A short (and beautiful!) two hour drive from Paris, Reims and Veuve offer an incredible glimpse into the iconic brand that we all know and love. Surely we will be writing more on Champgane country, and Reims in particular, but for this one we wanted to give a quick highlight reel of Veuve Clicquot. If you haven’t already visited this region, do it now, trust us, it’s what dreams are made of.
Thank you Veuve Clicquot, see you again this week, cheers!