THE VALLÉE DE LA MARNE
The Vallée de la Marne vineyards extend as far as the eye can see in the direction of Paris, sprawling over terraced hillsides where villages, châteaux, and churches are nestled.
TERRACED HILLSIDES, CHÂTEAUX, AND CHURCHES
LAND WITH A PENCHANT FOR PINOT MEUNIER
This vineyard is located along the Marne river between Tours-sur-Marne and Dormans (and goes on into the Aisne department). During your getaway, explore Épernay, the historic capital of Champagne, where there are rows of imposing private residences on the Avenue de Champagne housing internationally renowned Producers.
Hautvillers is nearby, its streets perfect for wandering, and it is the home of the famous monk Dom Pérignon. Following the Marne you’ll come to Châtillon-sur-Marne, where there is an impressive statue of Pope Urban II, then Dormans, where you can visit the Mémorial des Batailles de la Marne.
Twenty-five cellars and houses, all carrying the "Vignobles & Découvertes" label, open their doors to you and reveal the secrets of their champagne over a tasting and/or a visit of their property.
THE SPIRITUAL FATHER OF CHAMPAGNE
A child of Sainte-Ménehould born in 1639, he entered the Jesuit College at Châlons-en-Champagne in 1652 to become a monk at eighteen years of age. In 1668, then aged 30, the joined Hautvillers Abbey to take up the role of cellarer, one of the most important in the monasteries, who in that time had vast domains.
With patience and persistence, he committed himself to bringing brilliance back to this Abbey and paid a singular attention to the grape harvests and to the choice of grapes. Adding sugar to the foam creation (prise de mousse), fast and fractionated pressing to produce a white juice, blending several crus, cork plugs to maintain freshness and foam, strengthening the bottles, etc.
We owe many major inventions to this contemporary of Louis XVI, ones that have endured for centuries and transformed champagne into an exceptional wine!
Often overlooking the Vallée, the Route du Champagne offers splendid viewpoints and opens the doors to its rich heritage. Leaving Épernay, follow the right bank of the Marne, and return by the left bank.
Follow the route as far as Hautvillers, a charming village famous for its Benedictine Abbey and Dom Pérignon, one of its monks, whose name lives on for his idea of blending different vintages of Champagne and using cork bottle stoppers.
Your journey will end at Pierry, which retains a lovely collection of properties and private residences from the 18th century, before returning to Épernay.
TO SEE ON THE WAY
- the Benedictine abbey and the wrought iron signs in Hautvillers, a charming village known for the Benedictine Abbey.
- the vantage point overlooking the château de Boursault at Venteuil
- the vantage point overlooking the valley at Châtillon-sur-Marne
- the Louis XIII château and its Mémorial des Victoires de la Marne at Dormans
- Oeuilly, the village “lost in time” and immersed in a peculiar atmosphere
- the Parc du Soudron (open from April to October) at Saint-Martin-d'Ablois
CHAMPAGNE HELPS US WONDER
THE CHAMPAGNE REGION SUBSOIL IS MOSTLY?
The subsoil in the Champagne region is mostly chalky (75% chalks, marl, and limestone). This type of subsoil encourages soil drainage and the very particular minerality of certain champagnes.
The porosity of the chalk makes it a real water reservoir and ensures that the vines have the water they need.
OFFICE DE TOURISME DES PAYSAGES DE LA CHAMPAGNE - WWW.TOURISME-PAYSAGES-CHAMPAGNE.COM
CHATILLON-SUR-MARNE WELCOME CENTER - 4 RUE DE L'EGLISE - 51700 CHATILLON-SUR-MARNE - + 33 3 26 58 32 86
DORMANS WELCOME CENTER - PARC DU CHÂTEAU - 51700 DORMANS - + 33 3 26 53 35 86
SELECTION OF GETAWAYS
See some ideas for walks to explore the Vallée de la Marne!
Le Château de Dormans
The chateau was built in 14th century by Jean 1er de Dormans. The chateau underwent major changes and demolition over the years. All that...
This museum has been set up in traditional buildings in the heart of a wine-producing village, situated between Epernay and Dormans which...
Abbaye Saint-Pierre d'Hautvillers
Visits on heritage days only. The abbey, founded in 650 by Saint Nivard, archbishop of Reims, hosted Dom Pérignon whose life is closely...
Mémorial National Dormans 1914-1918
Built in 1921, on a site that was chosen by Marshal Foch to commemorate the two Battles of the Marne, this memorial is a grouping...