Benedictine monk Pierre Perignon a.k.a Dom Perignon dedicated his life to creating a perfect wine, which would be able to compete with the country's finest wines. It was from his innovative work blending different grapes that formed the basis of the wine used in Champagne.
In 1668, Dom Pérignon he arrived in Hautvillers a charming flower-filled wine village with sweeping views of the Marne River valley. The origin of Hautvillers is directly related to the existence of the Abbey Saint Pierre founded in 7th century. and re-built in the 16th century. Dom Perignon became the cellar master of the Abbey and innovated in:
Bonding of wines to extract the sediment from the bottle
Blending various grapes varieties
Pressing in different steps to obtain a white juice from black grapes
Replacing the wood pin and tallow with cork
Our private driver guide will pick you up from Reims or close by and head to Avenue de Champagne in Epernay where there Moet et Chandon cellar complex is located and houses one of the most famous champagne brands in the world, Dom Perignon (created in 1936).
Half Day Tour Highlights
▸ Pre reserved private cellar visit and single tasting at Dom Perignon
▸ See the Grand Champagne Houses lining Avenue de Champagne
▸ Vineyard tasting in the Premier Cru village of Hautvillers
▸ Visit the Abbey of Dom Perignon
A full day tour will include the above plus one of the below options
Option 1. Two Great Doms
Dom Perignon (1640-1715) and Dom Ruinart (1657 - 1709) were both Benedictine monks, and buried in the Abbey of Hautvillers. Dom Ruinart was a scholar and not involved in wine but probably inspired his nephew to create the first Champagne House in 1729. Ruinart is known for its emphasis on Chardonnay, which comes from the Cote des Blancs and northern Montagne de Reims around Sillery, Verzenay and Massif de St-Thierry. Ruinart also has without doubt one of the most beautiful chalk cellars in Champagne.
Option 2. Dom Perignon & Billecart Salmon
Billecart Salmon is a family operated house who offer a fantastic tour and tasting. In a 3 day tasting in Stockholm in 1999 their Cuvee Nicolas Francois Billecart 1959 was given the distinction Champagne of the Millennium and the 1961 Cuvee came in 2nd. Dom Perignon 1964 Cuvee came in 4th and the 1960 came in 5th. It is interesting to compare the Billecart Champagne which uses Pinot Meunier to Dom, which only uses Chardonnay and Pinot Noir and in addition they only uses Premier and Grand Cru wines from a single year.
Option 3. Dom Perignon & 2 Grand Cru Vineyards
Depending on where you are staying we we will visit Grand Cru Vineyards the Pinot Noir and Chardonnay villages such as Verzenay, Mailly, Ay, Avize and Mesnil sur Oger where you can tasting the individual grape varieties used in the Dom Perignon blend as well as visit the production facilities of family growers to understand the wine making and fermentation process they use.
There are several nice restaurant options, with a 3 course prix fixe of 39€ pp (ex drinks).
▸ Chateau de Rilly
▸ One Michelin Star restaurants in the Montagne de Reims or downtown Reims
▸ Bistronomic brasserie next door to Ruinart
▸ 5 star modern hotel with vineyard view
Stay overnight and we can combine the above into a 2 day tour. There are quite a few lovely hotel options in Reims, Epernay or in the countryside according to budget and your preferred style from traditional to modern. We'll arrange the train tickets and have you pick up and drop off at the station or we can pick you in Paris.