A Refreshing Tour through Champagne

Kent St John, Senior Travel Editor at GoNOMAD.com, takes readers through some of the less frequently toured places in France’s historic Champagne producing region. Sampling some of his favorite bubbly, scoping out the vineyards and chateaus, and enjoying some French cuisine, Kent gets a taste for the region’s hidden treasures:

Essoyes is picture perfect and not only by my standards: Pierre-Auguste Renior himself moved to the village and painted it often. He also stated often that the bread and wine was much better than in Paris.

Memories of the painter are found not just in his remaining studio and home. Throughout the village huge poster size replicas of his paintings stand right where he would have painted them. It was awe inspiring to stand and see just what Renoir saw; little has changed to the eye in Essoyes.

That itself is a recurring blessing of traveling through lesser- known Champagne. Though the region has all the modern day accoutrements, it is off the beaten track that Champagne’s subtle magic bubbles up, as from the bottom of a glass of its best known wine — sure to whet an appetite for further exploration.