Champagne-Ardenne is the birthplace of Champagne, a prestigious drink par excellence, but it is also a region in which – as is the case in much of France – a love of food and local produce is cultivated...
Sumptuous Champagne is grown in chalky lands between the cities of Reims, Épernay and Châlons-en-Champagne: over 34,000 hectares of vineyards produce around 300 million bottles every year.
In addition to this noble drink, the region also produces excellent wines such as Bouzy, Rosé des Riceys – a classic wine with an ample bouquet and exquisite taste – as well as Coiffy wines that have regularly won awards in recent years.
Apart from the areas covered by forests and vines, the lands in the Champagne region are dedicated to agriculture. They produce sugar beet for the sugar industry, barley and soft wheat in particular.
The natural surrounds are extraordinarily rich with large game forests, rivers and great man-made lakes created to manage the flow of the Seine and Marne rivers. Wild boar, venison, duck and partridge are often used as ingredients in Champagne-Ardenne cuisine. And let’s not forget the truffles in Haute-Marne.
Champagne-Ardenne also offers many regional specialities: Reims ham made from pork shoulder seasoned with Champagne, Ardennes ham or even Sainte-Menehould pig trotters... In Rethel, you cannot miss white blood sausages, cooked in the Richelieu style with a golden truffle crust. In Troyes, you will undoubtedly be served Andouillette sausage.
Reims is also the capital of mustard and vinegar.
Producing 670 million litres of milk, Champagne-Ardenne produces delicious cheeses based on ancient traditions and expertise. Chaource (AOC) is a soft cow’s milk cheese with a penicillium camemberti rind. A creamy soft cow’s milk cheese made from whole cow’s milk, Langres (AOC) is never turned over which gives it its characteristic, slightly hollow cylinder shape at the top.