Champagne wine tour

Designed as a pre-tour to Art, Music and Wine in the South of France


This tour is part of the World Art Tours program organised by the Art Gallery Society of NSW in partnership with Renaissance Tours.

Depart Paris at 10:00 for the Champagne region, visiting en route the Vaux-le-Vicomte castle and gardens. Built by King Louis XIV’s Finance Minister Nicolas Fouquet, this 17th century masterpiece remains the legacy of the talented architect Louis Le Vau and landscape architect André Le Nôtre. Despite Fouquet’s tragic fate (dying in prison on charges of malfeasance and lèse-majesté), Vaux-le-Vicomte provided the inspiration to Louis XIV to create the Palace of Versailles.

At 18:30, join Peter and fellow travellers for a welcome briefing followed by a special welcome dinner at the hotel.


In the morning, visit the northern part of the Champagne region, and enjoy a walking tour of Reims, the main city of Champagne. Discover the old town and its square and visit the impressive 13th century Notre Dame Cathedral, remarkable for its luminosity and considered a masterpiece of the European Gothic style.

Then, visit Taittinger, one of the world’s premier champagne houses. Spanning 250 hectares of vineyards with more than 30 different crus, Taittinger occupies some of the oldest champagne caves in Reims. Enjoy a champagne tasting and visit the chalk mines located 17 meters underground, vestiges of a 13th century abbey destroyed during the French Revolution.

After lunch, discover the traditional village of Saint-Pierre d’Hautvillers, famous as the residence of Dom Pérignon, a 17th century Benedictine monk considered the spiritual father of champagne. Enjoy the village’s typical architecture, church and some of the 140 iron signs decorating the streets.

Return to the hotel in the late afternoon. The evening is at leisure.


Today, visit the southern part of Champagne around Epernay.

Visit Boizel Champagne House, a family house who has maintained for five generations the excellence of its complex and elegant champagne.

After lunch at a local restaurant, continue to the village of Ay and visit Bollinger Champagne House. Bollinger stands out as one of the last independent houses, maintaining its own savoir-faire. 


Visit some of the most emblematic champagne houses of Reims city, including Charles Heidsieck Champagne House and discover the ‘style Charles’. Enjoy a tasting of this complex and elegant champagne, produced with a high percentage of reserve wine.

Enjoy a special lunch, and then continue to the unique Domaine Pommery, established by Madame de Pommery in the 19th century. Pommery created the first vintage ‘brut’ style of champagne, at a time when most champagnes were still sweetened with sugar.

Return to the hotel in the late afternoon. The evening is at leisure.


In the morning, check out from the hotel and travel to Paris Airport for a flight to Marseille (included in tour price).

Arrive in Marseille in the early afternoon and transfer to the hotel in Aix-en-Provence where tour arrangements begin for our Art, Music and Wine in the South of France tour.


Note: Many champagne houses are reluctant to commit to visits more than 2-3 months prior due to the exigencies of harvest and production. Therefore, while we undertake to operate the tour as published, there may be some changes to the itinerary.

Per person, twin-share

AUD 4,500

Single supplement*

AUD 1,050

Deposit per person (at time of booking)

AUD 500

*Single travellers may request to share.
Please advise at time of booking.

Final payment due

10 June 2019

Tour code


Fitness level

Please see Terms & Conditions for fitness level definitions.

Suggested airline

Qatar Airways
Please contact Renaissance Tours or your travel agent for current airfares and flight reservations.


Australian and New Zealand passport holders do not require a visa to visit France.

Tour price includes

  • Accommodation in a 5-star superior hotel with breakfast daily (B)
  • Meals as per itinerary (L=Lunch, D=Dinner), including wines specially selected by your tour leader
  • Comprehensive sightseeing including local guides and entrance fees as per itinerary
  • Transportation throughout on comfortable air-conditioned coaches
  • Economy Class flight from Paris to Marseille (20kg luggage allowance)
  • Coach group transfer from Marseille airport to Aix-en-Provence for the commencement of the Art, Music and Wine in the South of France tour
  • Lectures and talks with your tour leader, wine writer Peter Bourne
  • Gratuities for local guides and drivers
  • Hotel porterage (one piece per person)

Tour price does not include

  • International airfares (please contact Renaissance Tours or your travel agent for assistance)
  • Airport/hotel transfer on arrival in Paris
  • Accommodation in Paris
  • Transfer from Marseille airport to Aix-en-Provence if not using group transfer
  • Items of a personal nature, including telephone calls, laundry, mini-bar, taxi etc.
  • Airport porterage
  • Travel insurance (a condition of travel; please contact Renaissance Tours or your travel agent for assistance)


Your hotel
Epernay – Villa Eugene *****

NB. A hotel of a similar standard may be substituted