Day 12+13: Road Trip with Kids in the Heart of Champagne Country

Would you let your child take a sip of champagne? What about a dabber? What if you are in champagne country in Reims, France and you had just finished a tour of a champagne cellar? So, we (parents) “splurge” a bit and visited “Vranken Pommery”–a champagne producer housed in what looks like a castle that offers self-guided tours of its underground cellars, followed by a tasting session.

And, oh, it also doubles up as an art gallery with different exhibitions through its underground caverns. “We can play hide and seek here,” my older boy said in excitement! Well, I would recommend against that.

Family camping road trip with kids in the heart of champagne country, Epernay and Reims, France.

This is about the only paid tour/museum that we can afford during this family road trip with kids from Spain to Poland. Tickets cost 20 euros (with a glass of champagne, included) and another 10 for a glass of an older champagne for tasting. The good thing is it’s FREE for KIDS!

The villa of Vranken Pommery domaine with self-guided tours of its underground champagne cellars and art gallery, followed by a tasting session.

We save some money during our weeks-long road trip by camping, particularly staying at smaller camping sites and lesser-known villages, such as Camping Municipal Epernay in the capital of champagne.

The Drunk Donkey at the Vranken Pommery champagne cellar tour, tasting and art exhibition.

Because we are trying to avoid big population density to manage the risk of contact with coronavirus, this champagne-castle-cellar was the only place we visited in Reims during our family camping road trip from Spain to Poland this year. And it was worth it!

Watch out! 160 little steps, straight down, in low light.

Even our two young kids found this champagne tour interesting because of the hour-long (at least) exploration of its extensive underground cellars and tunnels. . . in the dark.

From boot-squashed grapes into champagne: a molecular view of the process.

Note: In case you’re wondering. . . No, we have not received any form of compensation or freebies or anything at all for reviewing or mentioning this or any others on our blog.

One of the champagne vaults, underground. You could almost reach out and. . . grab one!

Apparently the Romans dug it (yup) a long time ago in search for a type of stone. Then, in modern times, someone bought and converted it into a wine (or in this case champagne) cellar for export to all the major cities around the world.

Part of the art exhibition. . . we don’t know why this one’s here.

Be prepared with your kids or the elderly or those of you, like me (the father of these free electrons kids) whose six-pack abdomen has turned into a belly-full-of-jelly:

The feast of Bacchus, likely during the festival of Saturnalia. . . good thing this one is located high up so the kids wouldn’t see.

You’ll have to go 160 stone stairs, straight down, in low light. It would look like your entering dracula’s lair or some kind of high-end, sadomassatwoshits, goth club. Vranken Pommery. Even the name sounds, well, leather and chains. But it’s all so cool and worth it!

One of many curious artwork that would be perfect for a Bauhaus video of “Bella Lugosi’s Dead!”. . . my kids heeded the Sisters of Mercy’s guidance to “Walk Away!”

During our visit the gallery had some macabre theme artwork… like a private Berlin Gothic Sadomassa2shits private underground show.

It’s chilly down there so bring a second layer for everyone.

It’s never too dark and damp (and perhaps also dank) to have fun in the sand.

Make sure you know what you are saying “yes” to when buying your ticket. We ended up agreeing to 2 glasses per adult–one of the 2008 wine and another for a younger batch (4 years old). . . In any event, I was happy. The wife was not 😊

Art underground at Vranken Pommery.

Here’s a PSA: Please don’t drink and drive and make sure to have eaten before the champagne. It kicks ass on an empty stomach.

There’s limited FREE parking right in the castle’s premises and to a lot next door.

Aaaahhhhhhhhh. . . finally, por FIN!

Happy travels to YOU! Big Smile! 😊 free electrons family 😄

Champagne tour visiting hours and cost at Vranken Pommery with FREE parking on the grounds and at an overflow lot next door.
Champagne so cool, it could make that elephant hang upside down!

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