There’s more to the town than its abbey. Stroll through its streets and you’ll see whimsical iron signs gracing every public and commercial building, indicating what lies within. And there are wine tastings at Au 36, charming dining options, and lots of activities nearby. Pretty much any tour you take of the Champagne region will include a stop in Hautvillers. Most depart from Paris or Reims, and are an excellent alternative to renting a car if you plan to imbibe.
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Things to know before you go
- Drinking and driving in France can land you a two-year jail sentence.
- You can visit Dom Pérignon’s gravestone inside the Abbey.
- Travelers with limited mobility or in wheelchairs might find the town difficult to navigate.
How to get there
Hautvillers is located a 10-minute drive north of Epernay, and regular shuttle buses connect the two towns—departing from the railway station in Epernay. Still, your best bet is to join a tour that will take you winery hopping, unless someone in your group is willing to be a designated driver.
When to get there
The most pleasant time to visit Hautvillers and the surrounding Champagne region, in terms of weather, is from late spring through early autumn, though the harvest time (starting in late September) can get busy. Avoid winter, when it's cold and many of the smaller champagne houses close to visitors, or limit their opening hours to the weekends.
The Moët & Chandon Champagne Cellars
If you're visiting Hautvillers, you'll likely also be passing through nearby Epernay, home to the cellars of the celebrated Moët & Chandon brand. The cellars feature a huge network of tunnels spanning around 17 miles (27 kilometers) in length and can be visited as part of a tour (which includes tastings).
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- Moët & Chandon Champagne Cellars (Les Caves Moët & Chandon)
- Champagne Mercier
- Verzenay Lighthouse (Phare de Verzenay)
- Abbey of Saint-Remi (Abbaye Saint-Rémi)
- Pommery Champagne (Domaine Pommery)
- Taittinger Champagne House (Maison de Champagne Taittinger)
- Reims Cathedral of Notre Dame (Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Reims)
- Tau Palace (Palais du Tau)
- House of Mumm (Maison Mumm)