Smaller Champagne Houses to Visit

Handling the caissesMany people who visit the champagne region really don’t know how and where to find the smaller champagne houses where they can meet the champagne makers themselves and sit down and taste with them, and often with the family too.

This is not surprising as the smaller champagne houses are not brilliant at self-promotion preferring instead to tend to the vines and make the bubbly, rather than open the doors to tourists who may or may not buy anything.

So I’ve just compiled a brief list of our favourites and where I know you will receive a warm welcome and a glass or two of the famous bubbly, while you chat and learn with the makers themselves.

You may need to make an appointment ahead of time because they do have other things to do and are not always available.

La Maison Penet, Verzy

Alexandre and his wife Martine took over the family business quite recently and have invested a small fortune in their new reception area, tasting room and cellars.  Alexandre is a savvy businessman and has developed a niche “low dosage” champagne for discerning bubbly-lovers.  Not everyone will love it, but it’s certainly different and well worth your time to explore.

Hure Freres, Ludes

Francois Hure is one of three brothers and having travelled to other wine-growing regions of the world, has brought international expertise to his champagne making process.  Based in the “Montagne de Reims” area of the region, his champagnes are Pinot Noir bassed which makes them very fruity and full-bodied (which I personally love) One to put on the list for sure.

Benoit Marguet, Ambonnay

If you’re looking for some “out-there-woo-woo” thinking, then a visit to this smaller champagne house won’t disappoint you.  Benoit is very much into the bio-dynamic production process, paying close attention to the cycles of the moon, ploughing the furrows between the vines with his horse-drawn plough and using herbal concoctions, rather than chemicals to keep the bugs at bay.  Well worth a visit to just experience his philosophy

If you’d like to find out more about how meet these small champagne houses and the people involved, then just email me and I’ll be happy to help.

Meanwhile, why not CLICK HERE and hop over to our Facebook page and say hello 🙂

See you soon in Champagne


Yvonne 150





Champagne Christmas fun in Epernay

The weekend of the 9th/10th/11th December 2016 is a great time to come to Epernay, where the Christmas street party takes place on the Avenue de Champagne.  Usually, not many of the big champagne houses on the Avenue are open to the public, but on this weekend, they all are!  And not only are they open, you are invited to join in, with champagne flowing, food to go, live music, fun and fireworks.  If you’ve never been to Epernay for  this brilliant event, then put it in your diary for 2016.

The “Habits de Lumiere” event (which literally means “dressed in lights”)  is where the Avenue de Champagne is lit up like Disneyland,  with even a Disney-esque procession and spectacular fireworks on the Friday night, cooking demonstrations and champagne and food matching on Saturday, and a vintage car procession on Sunday.

Hundreds of locals flock to this event, and you should be there too!

We’ve put together a very special weekend around this amazing event, for a limited number of people, so if you’d like to find out how you can be there this year, then email us at or call us on  0033 (0)3 26 48 20 52 to find out more

Curious about what to do, where to stay, who meet in Champagne?
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Autumn 2010 Newsletter

Greetings from Les Molyneux, your home from home in the heart of Champagne, and welcome to our first ever Newsletter.

Don’t worry we won’t be bombarding you with offers every five minutes, just timely information about what’s going on here in France and there are a couple of things we really think you should know about.

More about that later but first of all, the summer has been lovely with temperatures in the low to mid thirties which has been brilliant for the grapes, although we’ve had a bit too much rain in late August/early September so some of the grapes are rotting on the vines, which is worrying to say the least.

However, the Harvest starts on Monday 13th and there’s a real buzz of anticipation about the place.

Over the next few weeks there’ll be opportunities to come and pick some grapes, experience the atomosphere of a traditional harvest and meet some of the local champagne makers, as well as taste the juice as it’s pressed. Call us now on 0033 (0) 3 26 48 20 52 or email me at to check availability now. Places are limited.

And now news about two very special weekends coming up this autumn for serious champagne lovers.

First is our Reims Wine Festival weekend – November 12/13/14th where you’ll get to discover some amazing wines from all around France at one of the most spectacular wine fairs I’ve ever seen.

Check out full details here and call us to check availablility. Places are limited and at the time of writing there are only 4 places left, so don’t delay, call today.

Second, is the Habits de Lumiere weekend on December 10th/11th/12th . This is an extra special pre-Christmas treat for you, where you’ll experience the magical atmosphere of Epernay.

The famous Avenue de Champagne lights up the sky with street entertainment, glittering candle-lit champagne houses and a fabulous firework display, just for starters.

Check out the full programme here and then give us a ring to book your places.

We’ll be closing from December 13th until March 1st, so don’t miss these opportunities to round off your year with a well-deserved break. We’re looking forward to welcoming you.

Until next time…

Yvonne & Jiles Halling