The next day, we hit the road. This is where our "Route du Champagne" guide comes in handy. If you ever have the opportunity to visit the region of Champagne, by all means, stop at the tourist office in Epernay and pick up one of these guides or link to the on-line publication.
Our first stop, the house (quite literally) of Jean Marniquet in the premier cru village of Avenay-Val-d'Or, located just northeast of Epernay, nestled on the lower slopes of the Montagnes de Reims.
Marie, the daughter-in-law of the proprietor, greeted us at the door. She was in the midst of labeling this year's vintage. She told us a little about the history of Jean Marniquet and the nuances various blends.