When planning a visit to the Champagne region, Epernay, the capital of the region, is often the first place which springs to mind for our clients. Another popular choice is the bustling city of Reims, which is home to some of the biggest names in Champagne. While both cities are conveniently located for visiting the acclaimed vineyards of Montagne de Reims, Vallée de la Marne and Côte des Blancs, did you know that a quarter of all Champagne produced actually comes from Aube?
Historically, the grapes grown here were largely sold to the big Champagne Houses in the north of the region, but in recent years, the wineries of Aube have truly come into their own, producing some fantastic, artisanal Chardonnay and Pinot Noir based wines. While the Champagne here has been classified as a controlled label of origin since 1927 and is every bit as good as it’s more famous neighbouring appellation, very little of it is exported, so it remains one of France’s best kept secrets- practically guaranteeing that you will taste something new and special.
Located an hour’s drive south west of Epernay, and with the beautiful Medieval city of Troyes (think cobbled streets lined with half-timbered buildings) at its centre, Aube is the perfect destination for those who have visited Reims and Epernay several times and are looking for unexplored territory, those who prefer more ‘quaint’ surroundings, or as a stopping point for those driving from Champagne to Burgundy or further south.
Troyes has a range of 4* hotels, with a second 5* property due to open in 2021, and an array of quality restaurants located within walking distance. Conveniently, several wineries have tasting boutiques located in the town centre, which is ideal for an introductory tasting session on your day of arrival, or to squeeze in a few more glasses before dinner.
As well as offering tours and tastings at the most highly regarded wineries in the Côté des Bar, we can also arrange the most unique and authentic experiences Aube has to offer! Sample the region’s speciality- Chaource, a creamy, soft-ripened cow’s milk cheese (which we hear is delicious baked in Champagne!) at a local fromagerie; delight in a private dinner served in a ‘Cadole’, a traditional stone hut located in a vineyard; enjoy a picnic in a hot air balloon; or for the thrill seekers among you, one particular winemaker happens to be a licensed pilot, offering tours of his vineyard from the air in a light aircraft!
The region is also home to a multitude of pretty villages, a stunning nature reserve and three picturesque lakes, which offer visitors the opportunity to partake in a variety of water sports, hiking and cycling activities. The village of Essoyes is famed for its association with the Renoir family, with both Pierre-Auguste, the Impressionist painter, and son Jean, the film maker, having lived here. A visit to the artist’s studio, a tour of the village or a guided hike to some of Renoir’s landscapes is a fantastic cultural accompaniment to a wine tour.
Troyes is easily accessible from Paris- just a 90-minute train ride from Paris Est station, or a 3 1/2 hour drive from Calais via Reims.
All of our trips to Aube en Champagne are created on a completely bespoke basis, and tailored entirely to your requirements. Don’t hesitate to get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org or +44 (0) 1920 46 86 66 to start planning your perfect holiday!