Pommery is literally one of the biggest champagne houses and the most vast vineyards in Reims with over 80,000 acres. It's easy to book a tour here either online, or once you get to the property, but make sure you are on time or the tour will start without you and they will not allow a change or reimbursement. There are several options with the basic tour beginning at 20 Euros or $22 USD, which includes a glass of champagne.
Located at a main intersection, there are several buses which stop here and there is a large parking lot if you are driving a car or taking a tour bus. The scale here is enormous as you can see from the people in the photo of the property. Many contrasting styles of architecture are all built next to each other making for an unusual look. Walking around the property I felt as if I was looking at a set built by competing set designers.
This is the Maison Demoiselle, a sister property and champagne across the street (you may purchase a combination tour ticket for both).
Several acres of the vineyards surround the original estate.
Entry here bar coded and automatic; you can buy your pass at the machines at the entrance when you arrive, so this can be a last minute decision if you are visiting and not sure of your time allotments. It's very different from the front desk personal style of Veuve Clicquot which requires a reservation at least a week in advance with a confirmation. The size of the groups and the style is also very different here, with about 40 of us in the group, as opposed to 5 of us at Veuve Clicquot, and the tour guide was definitely scripted with pat answers for her questions and comments. My friend and I would have preferred an electronic audio guide to the human who led our tour.
The tour began with a question about what these were....after a few guesses and condescending retorts from our guide, we learned these were face masks to protect the first guests who took tours of the cellars. The bottles sometimes exploded in the days before they learned how to control the pressure.
The descent into the cellars is steep and long and it gets colder as you go down.
Once in the chalk pits, you can see how far underground you are when you look up.
Some of the old machinery is on display along the walls
and above the bottles you can see the old pulley systems used for transport.
This is stunning showpiece of Pommery bottles.
Artists carved these over five years by candlelight and went blind in the process :(
The oldest priceless bottles are kept locked behind bars.
The end of the tour includes a glass of champagne
served in glasses I would have used only if I had no other drinking vessel. The champagne was on par quality wise with the glass.
The gift shop offers both trendy gifts
and their trademark Louise champagne.
Like Madame Clicquot, Madame Pommery was also a widow with a child to raise. She expanded her brand and business worldwide from 18 hectares (44 acres) to over 300 hectares (700 acres). She was also a humanitarian maverick, setting up a pension fund and social security fund for her workers, and the first orphanage in Reims, an admirable and audacious woman in any era.