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six different champagnes in 10cl glasses. If you like a particular champagne, you simply walk down into the cellar below the bar and buy one. From Épernay it’s only a few miles drive


north to Hautvillers, where champagne was fi rst created three centuries ago. According to tradition, the ingenious idea of mixing various grape varieties from the Champagne-Ardenne region and sealing the lot with a cork held in place with a wire collar to withstand the fermentation pressure came from Dom Pérignon (1638-1715), cellar master at the Benedictine Abbey in Hautvillers. Hautvillers is one of those picture-perfect French villages with a bar, church and several pretty


houses. In the square you’ll fi nd the tourist offi ce where you get a gentle walking tour with an explanation of Pérignon’s life and the effect he had on perfecting cham- pagne; the highlight is the Abbey where he is buried. Northeast of Hautvillers, situated in the wooded hills around Verzy, is a totally new concept in enjoying champagne—the world’s fi rst champagne bar in the trees. Le Perching Bar sits on a wooden platform supported by 20-foot stilts, accessed by a number of boardwalks suspended between the trees. From Verzy it is only a fl ute or two of bubbly to Reims, a town with a rich history, and together with Épernay the most important center of champagne production and home to some prestigious producers such as Mumm and Tattinger.


ACCOMMODATION FIT FOR A KING Staying at one of the 150 historic cha-


teaus, manor houses or stately homes is an excellent way to experience France’s Cham- pagne-Ardenne region and to complement the golf and champagne lifestyle. A classic


56 / NCGA.ORG / SUMMER 2011 1


Golfers are quickly fi nding out the province of Champagne- Ardenne offers a lot more than just wine and chateaus.


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