The champagne region was just a stone’s throw away from Brussels so I found myself visiting not just with my husband but with my girlfriends as well for weekend trips…. Bouzin’ in Bouzy!
Some friends of ours found this awesome, brand new in 2012, B&B called Clos du Mont Rouge located in Bouzy. Christine was the hostess of the B&B and her husband, Georges Vesselle also makes wine which you can buy from the B&B or their shop in Bouzy. The breakfast is fantastic! Christine makes the most AMAZING champagne jam. I tried to convince her to sell us some but she didn’t bite. A little of the jam in her homemade yogurt…I’m salivating just thinking about it! We stayed in the Red Room on two different occasions.
Lagache – The Lagache experience was by far our best. I visited on two different occasions and was given a private tour by Charlotte and provided about 5 different tastings. Charlotte Lagache is the daughter of the Lagache family who hopes to take over the business one day. Her English is very good as she studied some in Chicago. We felt that our experience was very personal and that they were interested in showing us their champagne and not just to make a sale (which they certainly did!)
Champagne Caillez-Lemaire – We showed up for a tasting during a family celebration after harvest and they were so nice to us and gave us a tasting anyway. Their guests even introduced themselves to us as if we were also invited.
Canard Duchene – mid sized house with a couple English tours each day.
There’s also a small store in the town center of Bouzy that will give tastings of various types of champagne. If you’re pressed for time or in the area on a day that many houses aren’t open, this is a good alternative.
I should also add that the larger champagne houses that you’ll find on Avenue de Champagne in Epernay are very beautiful and at least deserves a drive down the Avenue. We had wanted to take at least one larger Champagne tour for informational purposes and then buy elsewhere. If that sounds like you, we did enjoy the Moet & Chandon tour along with the Mercier tour that allowed you to sit in a trolley while touring through the caves. If you’re into art, Pommery also offers several English tours each day and the interior of the chateau is decorated like a modern art museum…though I found it a bit strange and out of place.
For the larger house tours, we were able to walk up and get on a tour without making a reservation. However, I strongly suggest contacting the smaller champagne houses before knocking on their doors or risk disappointment.
Le Jardin Brasserie because it was 10% of the price of Le Parc (Michelin star) and with the same chef… win! Also it is located on the grounds of a beautiful chateau.
La Table Anna had a good menu, and the restaurant décor had character.
The Perching Bar was difficult to find and when we got there, we learned they didn’t serve lunch on Sundays. Our friends were able to eat here and they thought the food was just ok but the experience was neat.
Other recommendations made to us:
Lunch at Le Chapon Fin in Epernay
Really small but nice: Robert Charlemagne (not Guy). Sophie is the lady’s name and they serve mostly blanc de blancs.
Pierre Legras – also mostly blanc de blancs