Six feet under in FranceÉpernay, France
Beneath the historic vineyards of Épernay in the Champagne district is a series of winding tunnels and hidden caves dug into the chalk. Some date back to Roman times and, apart from a period during World War I when the townspeople hid there to flee the conflict, they’ve been used to store and mature bottles of the region’s famous sparkling wine.
Until recently this labyrinth below UNESCO World Heritage-listed Avenue de Champagne was mostly off limits to the average punter. That’s now changing, with more maisons opening their doors. That includes Champagne Boizel, which has been in the same family for five generations and offers English-language tours of its tunnels at 11.30am and 4pm from Tuesday to Saturday. When you’re done, head to Atelier 1834, Boizel’s wine bar, where you can sip on its exceptional offerings by the glass.
- Exploring the winding tunnels and hidden caves beneath the historic vineyards of Épernay in the Champagne district
- The fascinating history of Boizel and the various tunnels underneath the World Heritage-listed Avenue de Champagne dating back to Roman times
- Don’t like wine? The tunnels are still an intriguing place