In failure lay success when a monk, named Dom Perignon, unintentionally created a pale sparkling wine in the 17th century that very quickly become a favourite of the king’s court. Now synonymous with celebrations, extravagance and joyous occasions, Champagne is only produced within a relatively small area, just east of Paris. Famous for its beautiful undulating hills, sunflower fields and, of course, spectacular vineyards, there are more than 5,000 Champagne producers that decorate the 3 major cities and 300 charming villages, which make up the Champagne-Ardenne province.
A toe-tingling start or finish to a superb holiday in Paris, float, like the bubbles you drink, through the UNESCO World Heritage Site visiting the ancient castles and gothic cathedrals that drape across the region. Hike part of the fabulous sentiers de Grandes Randonnees, spend a pleasant day fishing the rivers in the north or explore the city of Troyers, which is lined with colourful half-timbered houses from the 16th century.
Matured in the chalk tunnels carved underneath the streets of Reims and Epernay, both of which fight for the title of ‘The Champagne City’, there are said to be about a billion bottles of bubbly ageing under the famous production houses, which include Veuve Clicquot, Pommery, Taittinger and Moet & Chandon. At the pop of the cork, rejoice with every sip you take of the decadent fizz as you say cheers to the monk who created a masterpiece from a mistake.