A4 Paris-Reims, exit #21 Epernay, D980 then N3 to Epernay.
15-FEB to 14-MAR Mon, Thu-Sun 9:30-11:30, 14-16:30.
15-MAR to 19-NOV daily 9:30-11:30, 14-16:30.
20-NOV to 17-MAR Mon, Thu-Sun 9:30-11:30, 14-16:30.
Adults EUR 7, Children (12-17) EUR 3, Children (0-11) free.
Groups (11+): Adults EUR 6.
Caveau Bachus: AR=222m².
|Address:||Champagne Mercier, 68, Avenue du Champagne, 51333 Epernay, Cedex, Tel: +33-326-512222, Fax: +33-326-512223. E-mail:|
|As far as we know this information was accurate when it was published (see years in brackets), but may have changed since then.
Please check rates and details directly with the companies in question if you need more recent info.
|1871||excavation of the cellars ordered by Eugène Mercier.|
|1889||great vat presented on the World Exhibition in Paris.|
|1960s||part of the cellars refurbished as reception area.|
The Champagne Mercier company, located in Epernay, has a huge vault below, cut into the soft Cretaceous chalk. The walls and columns are decorated by scupltures, created by the Navlet brothers. It was refurbished in the 1960s and is since used as a reception center for 40 to 200 people for dinners and cocktails under the name Caveau Bacchus. It seats 160 guests for dinner and dance, and up to 240 for cocktails.
Another part of the cellar is open on guided tours, which include vine tasting. The tour starts with a giant vat, built by the the founder of the company Eugène Mercier. He needed 18 years to build it, and it was first presented to the public in 1889 on the World Exhibition in Paris. Also on the ground floor is the cinema where an 30 minutes film is shown about the history of the company. The the visitors decend 30m into the cellars by lift. There the visitors take a seat on an electric train which shows the cellars on a round track, guided by laser.
Probably the most fascinating pat of the cellar is the so-called glacière. This is a vault separated from the rest of the cellar by a security door. Here the chef de cave stores some bottles of every vintage. It is an oenological library, the history of company, and a treasure at the same time. Only the chef de cave has the key and will provide a few bottles on exceptional occasions.
The cellars were started in 1871 by Eugène Mercier. He instructed the architect to think big, in kilometers instead of meters. The result are 18 kilometers of cellars. To transport the enormous amount of champagne produced here, the cellars have direct access to private railroad track branching off the
Mercier is the best selling Champagne in France and the cellars are the most popular, but also most touristic ones in the Champagne. As a result it is pretty simple to visit them, no need to call ahead or book for individuals, and there are tours in various languages. On the other hand it might be crowded on weekends and during school holidays.