Best Villages in Umbria
There are many ways you can describe the region of Umbria : beautiful, historic, lush, verdant, mysterious. The list goes on.Read more
Champagne is one of the most beautiful regions of France. Laced with vineyards, charming towns and villages are connected by miles of emerald vines. The winemaking traditions of the region have reshaped the international wine scene, with Champagne now synonymous with elegance and celebration. We love tasting and touring these wineries as we cycle around the region. However, it’s important to know when to visit Champagne, as your experience of the region can differ depending on the time of year you travel there. Whether it’s spring, summer or autumn, we believe Champagne sparkles just as brightly in each season, but in their own ways.
For horticulturists and flower enthusiasts wondering when to visit Champagne, the answer is absolutely spring. The orchards and gardens are in full bloom, with a distinctive freshness to the air. Spring is also one of the least busy times of year for the region, as most either travel for the summer sunshine or autumn harvest. As a result, it’s like you’ve been led to the front of every queue; you can also easily grab a reservation at the most prestigious restaurants.
In May, the grape vines begin to flower. This is the first sign of activity in the vineyards, and there’s an exciting buzz in the air as the grapes begin to grow. This also means the vines survived the winter – even more reason to celebrate. Whilst cycling through Champagne, you’ll notice a rose growing on the end of each vine row. A tour and tasting of the vineyard will explain all, but the roses act like an early warning. As they’re less hardy than the grapes, a potential threat to the vines will cause them to wilt before the grapes. In spring, these roses are in bloom and indicate a healthy vine!
For many, summertime in Champagne is their favourite season to visit. The long sunny days are perfect for leisurely picnics and bike rides. During this time, the grapes on the Champagne vines begin to grow, with the promise of becoming a delicious sparkling wine. This is also a fantastic time to go cycling. The landscape is green and gorgeous, painted a deep shade of emerald.
Summer is also when tourism is at its peak in the region. This means that almost every shop and restaurant will be open, hoping to catch the attention of visitors. As a result, it’s worth keeping in mind that you may need to book restaurants and wine tours in advance to avoid any disappointment. The gorgeous weather in summer also means you can eat al fresco, under a Champagne sunset. There’s nothing better than enjoying a glass of sparkling gold as the sun paints the sky pink.
For true wine lovers, autumn in Champagne is the most exciting season to visit. This is because autumn is when the Champagne wine harvest begins! The vineyards are abuzz with excitement, as they meticulously harvest the ripe grapes from their vines. Across the region, you’ll discover wine festival after wine festival, celebrating this famous and delicious drink.
Another reason autumn is a fantastic time to visit Champagne is the changing leaves. Although the forests of Champagne are no different to those in Britain, it’s the vineyards that bring the most spectacular colour. The vines begin to turn as golden as the wine, and when the sun hits them just right at sunset, the entire landscape is set ablaze. We love enjoying a glass of Champagne and just gazing out over the landscape as it becomes a Rembrandt painting.
Now you know the answer to your question of when to visit Champagne, here are our cycling tours in the region. The first is our Leisurely Cycling in Champagne holiday; a classic tour which has you explore the winemaking centres of the region. These include Aÿ and Hautvillers, which budding sommeliers will recognise instantly. Although Aÿ is just a village, it’s actually the most influential wine centres in the region. And Hautvillers was the birthplace of Dom Perignon, a 17th-century monk who revolutionised wine. Many believe he even invented the world’s first sparkling Champagne.
On A Taste of Champagne, experience a more indulgent side to Champagne. Cycle along routes similar to our classic Champagne tour, and stay in luxurious accommodations. These include the magnificent Domaine Les Crayères, a 5-star stay where French elegance is beautifully on display. For both of these tours, deciding when to visit is a small but important part of your experience, as the landscape and even the culture can change from month to month.
For more information on when to visit Champagne, call our cycle experts today. Alternatively, view our Champagne cycling holidays here.
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