The Vallée de la Marne and the Côte des Blancs
By Tom Stevenson and Michael Edwards
This Guide was last updated on 14 August 2014
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At one time all visits to Champagne Houses ended with a complimentary glass of Champagne, but such is the volume of tourists these days that most now charge. However, since 1999, a loose association of Champagne growers spread across the region have opened their doors during the third week in October for visits and free tastings. Those in the Château-Thierry, Epernay & Châlons-en-Champagne area are J. Charpentier (Villers-sous-Châtillon), Michel Gonet (Avize), E. Jamart (Saint Martin d'Ablois), and Poirot et Fils (Bergères-les-Vertus).
Useful information: Details from 03 26 64 96 87 or http://www.tourisme-en-champagne.com
Held over the first week in June, this festival includes circus acts and street entertainment.
Useful information: Details from the Châlons Tourist Office.
Over the middle three weeks of May this event takes place in Château-Thierry in honour of Jean de la Fontaine, Château-Thierry’s famous poet. Music dominates, but the festival also includes theatre, dance, and fine arts.
Useful information: Details at www.festival-jeandelafontaine.com
This festival takes place every other year in Aÿ-Champagne over the first weekend in July (in even years). Henri IV once declared "If I were not a king de France, I would like to be lord d'Aÿ", which is as good an excuse as any to organise a bash. Fireworks, sound and light, music, Champagne tastings, processions, markets, etc.
Useful information: Details from the Ay-Champagne tourist office on 03 26 56 92 10 or www.ay-champagne.fr.
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