Epernay was the starting point of the Tour de France on 8 July 2010, after the previous day finished in Reims. And they will once again be the starting point during next year's Tour, on 6 July (after my experience at the finishing line in Reims during last year's Tour, you won't find me at the starting point, maybe a bit further down the road...).
We like to take our visitors on a drive down avenue de champagne and if there is enough time, to show them the big marketing bla-bla of Moët & Chandon (that will give you a good understanding where a big part of the money that you pay for a bottle is going to) or visit one of the champagne houses. One champagne house we still want to visit is Castellane (we were running into their reception with Nico, hoping to be on time for an English tour, but as it was only in French, we had to take him to Mercier). They have a 63 m high tower, La Tour de Castellane, from where you can have a view over the region if you are fit enough for the 237 steps. The tower was designed by the same architect who has designed Gare de Lyon in Paris (a big train station for those of you who do not know). The photo below is once again thanks to Anita'a ability to take photo's while I'm driving!
Moët & Chandon who is also the owner of the Dom Perignon brand has a statue of him on their premises, a favourite spot for a photo! (as we have photos with many models by now, I'll show you photo's without any models!)
They have numerous buildings and on both sides of the road
The bla-bla shop
Below: a 1969 Dom Perignon, I had to photograph the price of the bottle. My mom insisted nobody in SA will believe us that the bottle costs 1830€!
One of their buildings on the other side of the road, le trianon. As you can see, the garden changes colour from year to year.
And another building of them
The chandelier at the entrance of their marketing shop - champagne glasses...
And some mansions in the avenue de champagne
The photo's of the underground visits in the caves I'll share when I explain a bit more about champagne. But for now, I hope I have given you a good overview of our region and I can start with a new region during next week (with visitors arriving on Friday I still have a lot to do, so won't be able to blog again before next week!)