The town of Epernay
Avenue of Champagne by night, © Epernay.fr
Epernay is the third-most populous city of the department of Marne after Charleville-Mézières and Reims.
In champagne territory
If you want to visit wine country, Epernay is a good place to start. It is situated very well in relation to Champagne's tourist routes, allowing you to visit the various vineyards one after the other. You can go from wine cellar to wine cellar for tastings with the wine producers, who will passionately tell you about their craft.
Epernay has been an economic center of Champagne since the 18th century. The opening of champagne houses allowed economic activity to flourish.
Révolte des Cossiers
At the beginning of the 1900s, the crops were doing badly. Plagued by phylloxera and unfavorable weather conditions, the vines were destroyed. Due to the lack of grapes, merchants obtained their supplies in the department of Aube to produce champagne. However, Aube stopped being included in the "champagne" designation in 1908. This fraud sparked anger with the federation of wine-producing unions of Champagne. The revolts prompted the government to send five military regiments to Epernay.
In 1911, the use of grapes and wine outside the "Champagne" zone was declared prohibited for any producer seeking this designation. It was a government decision that confirmed Epernay's central place in Champagne's wine heritage.
Avenue du Champagne
In 1925, the shopping street was renamed Avenue du Champagne. It owes its name to the installation of champagne houses on this main route of Epernay. The first of them took its place there in 1729. Since then, it is tradition for champagne houses to be set up there. The most courageous will be able to travel the 60-plus miles of wine cellars in search of the best bottle. To be enjoyed in moderation, of course !
Avenue du Champagne has been listed as a UNESCO world heritage site since 2015.
Epernay is visited by many French and foreign tourists who wish to discover the region's wine heritage. The city is an excellent starting point for a wine-lover's visit. This is also where you'll be able to buy bottles directly from the various renowned champagne houses.