Roaming around Champagne there are a few things to see that go beyond wineries, although it is mainly limited to two categories – religion and war. In terms of war, there’s plenty left from the world wars that had a strong impact on France. In Champagne you have the Musée Fort de la Pompelle a newly opened museum about the history behind the Fort de la Pompelle which was used to defend the area around Reims. It was completely destoroyed in the first world war only to be ressurected as a museum for the fallen in recent years…
There isn’t much in English yet, and I’ve seen better war museums, but it was on our way and served as an interesting break from the gorgeous Champagne scenery.
Further down south, we had another break from driving at the Hautvillers monastery with a church that’s famous as the burial place for Dom Perignon.
Back in Reims, after the Ruinart winery tour, you can take a five minute walk to the Basilique Saint-Remi…
If you’d like to follow what we did. We opened the day with the Basilique Saint-Remi, did a wine tour at Ruinart winery, continued to the Musée Fort de la Pompelle, then did a short hike at the Les Faux de Verzy at Forêt Domaniale, continued through wine country to the Hautvillers monastery, spent sometime in the nearby town and then made our way back to wrap up the day at Reims. A very peaceful and pleasant day with nature, history, and wine.