Côte des Bar in Aube: the southern champagne region that you should not miss!

Aube en Champagne, also known as the Côte des Bar, is the southern champagne region in France. This unknown champagne area is fast becoming the hotspot of the champagne region. And since this also the place where we are getting married, we will be here more often in the coming year and continuously update this blog with new findings!


The southern champagne region of Côte des Bar

Formerly the ugly duckling of the champagne region because there were no large champagne houses in Aube en Champagne. Today, Côte des Bar is the place-to-be! But why is Côte des Bar so different and special?

Traditionally, there are no large commercial champagne houses and famous names in the southern champagne region. The grapes were usually sold to the larger houses in and around Reims. Yields were lower, so the land was also cheaper. The region was so unpopular that until 1927 it was called the “Champagne deuxième zone” or “second-rate champagne region”. In the early 1900s, the big producers in the Reims region even tried to deprive the Aube of its official classification of champagne regions. This led to huge strikes by the champagne farmers in Côte des Bar.Strolling down the vinyards France Visitng France

Aube en Champagne: hot and happening!

So Côte des Bar (or the Aube en champagne) has always been a bit of a stranger. This in combination with the cheap soil resulted in a number of champagne farmers who dared to take a risk in the 21st century. They got rid of the traditional and in their opinion outdated way of making champagne and started experimenting with the champagne process. With more attention to the impact of the type of soil, the environment and pest control. And this switch is paying off! In 20 years, the amount of vineyards has been increased by over 20% and champagne from the Côte des Bar champagne region is more popular than ever! Additional advantage: the champagne from the Côte des Bar is less expensive than that from the Marne Valley (the champagne valley near Reims and Épernay).

How long this will be the case is the question. Due to the high popularity, the price of the land is also starting to rise. Currently, an acre of vineyard is worth a million euros, which is quite expensive.

Tip: although the region is becoming increasingly popular, in terms of tourism, this area is still much quieter than Épenery and Reims. Tours are most often free and you sit directly at the table with the champagne farmer. So much more special!Local beautiful hotels in the champagne region France


Where is the Côte des Bar?

The Côte des Bar is the southernmost champagne region. It is located in the Aube department and borders Burgundy. You can reach the Côte des Bar in about 2 hours from Reims. The City of Troyes is a 30-minute drive away. Below a map of the champagne region with the different regions.Map of Champagne region vinyards France

In contrast to the Marne Valley (the most famous champagne region near Reims and Épernay), Côte des Bar is much less dense with vineyards. The rolling landscape consists of small villages, forests, grain fields and the occasional champagne field. Most vineyards are from small champagne farmers who do this in addition to their other jobs, with very small numbers of champagne bottles each year. It is so much fun to sit with them at the kitchen table and learn more about their business. Here you really feel the love for champagne and the production process!


Curious about the northern Champagne region? We wrote a travel guide about Épernay and what to do here!


Bar-Sur-Aube and Bar-Sur-Seine

The Côte des Bar champagne region is divided into two districts named after the towns of the same name: Bar-Sur-Aube (east of Troyes) and Bar-Sur-Seine (southeast of Troyes).

Other villages in the champagne region of Côte des Bar

There are all kinds of nice villages in the southern champagne region Côte des Bar. The villages per district:

Bar-Sur-Aube:

  • Bar-Sur-Aube itself (a beautiful but rundown town)
  • Colombey-Les-Deux-Eglises (picturesque and memorial of Charles de Gaulle)
  • Voigny (picturesque centre)
  • Colombé-la-Fosse-Arrientieres (sunflower fields and a beautiful castle)
  • Champignol-lez-Mondeville

Bar-Sur-Seine

  • Bar-Sur-Seine itself (cosy and picturesque)
  • Essoyes (cute and residence of the painter Renoir)
  • Mussy-sur-Seine (beautiful church and castle)
  • Noë-les-Mallets (great views)
  • Les Riceys (beautiful old mansions)

Local streets in the champagne area


Our favourite champagne houses in the Côte des Bar champagne region

It is fair to say that during this first visit we mainly focused on champagne houses in Bar-Sur-Aube district. The reason: this is the district where we are getting married and so we got some nice recommendations from our wedding venue!

So herewith 6 champagne houses or champagne farmers where you can taste delicious champagne in the Champagne region of Bar-Sur-Aube.

1. Albert Beerens (in the village of Arrentières)

The two sisters who currently run the modern champagne house Albert Beerens know the ropes! This champagne house, which produces approximately 35,000 champagne bottles annually, uses a sustainable growth and production process. All three famous champagne grapes, Pinot Noir, Pinot Meunier and Chardonnay, grow here. Anne-Laure, one of the two sisters who showed us around, has just completed intensive training in the field of soil knowledge (terroir). With this, she wants to understand even better how the soil can be stimulated in the best and most sustainable way and which grapevines should be planted in which place.

After Anne-Laure has given us a tour of the champagne house and the cellars, it is time to taste the champagne. We drink a total of four different champagnes. But our two favourites are certainly the Cuvée Blanc de Blancs and the Cuvée Blanc de Noirs.

It is possible at champagne house Albert Beerens to do a tasting, a tour of the champagne cellars, a tour of the vineyards or a champagne lunch. Click here for the website with more information and to book one of the above activities.


Did you know:
Most champagne is made from one of the following grape varieties: Pinot Noir, Pinot Meunier and Chardonnay. In addition, grapes such as Pinot Blanc, Pinot Gris and Arbanne grapes are also available in limited amounts.

In the Côte des Bar, the majority of the grapes are Pinot Noir. More than 80 percent is even Pinot Noir. However, there are also some champagne houses in this region that make champagne from only the Pinot Blanc grapes. Very unique!


2. Michel Falmet (in Rouvres-les Vignes)

This small family business consisting of the couple Corinne and Laurent took over this old champagne house in 2004 from Corinne’s father, Michel Falmet. Since then, many modernizations have been carried out and more than 25,000 bottles of champagne are produced each year! We found the champagne delicious and very mildly priced! Perfect if your budget is also slightly less!

Nowadays you can also take a tour of the company with Corinne and Laurent and then taste some champagnes. However, keep in mind that the working language is mainly French. Making contact with Corinne and Laurent in advance is essential and can be done through their website. We were given a tour by Corinne and what a nice and warm woman she is! She took all the time she needed to answer all of our questions en we even got to see the grapes being pressed. Champagne tour Michel Falmet Cotes des Bar en Champagne France

3. Nicolo et Paradis (in Arsonval)

The young couple behind Nicolo et Paradis, Agnes and David Nicolo has given a completely different meaning to the champagne process. Not only do they make champagne ( the champagne house is called Nicolo et Paradis), they also brew beer according to the champagne production process! That is innovative again! The beer brand they founded in 2018 is called Bulle de Paradis and has already won several awards.

In their brasserie in Arsonval, you can taste beer on Tuesdays, Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays. It is also possible to take a guided tour through the wine cellars of Nicolo et Paradis and have a free champagne tasting here. Please contact Agnes and David in advance through their website. For more information about Bulles de Paradis, the beer brand they carry, click here. Unfortunately we visited Nicolo et Paradis during the harvest season and they were not open. So try again next time!Bulle de Paradis Cote des Bar Champagne France Champagne caves


Are you not going to the south but to the northern Champagne region? Read all about our favourite champagne houses around Reims and Épernay here!


4. Christian Peligri (Colombey-les-deux-Eglises)

The Christian Peligri family business was part of the Peligri family when Sylvia and Christian Peligri took over in 1980. The third generation of Peligri is currently being prepared with three daughters who all study and work in the wine industry! Even though the champagne house is a real family business, they produce over 75,000 bottles each year!

Christian Peligri is located in the pleasant village of Colombey-les-deux-Eglises and is definitely worth a visit. There are guided tours of the company and a tasting is also possible. Also very nice, the champagne is mildly priced at Champagne Peligri. You already have a bottle of champagne from 7 euros! Compared to other houses, less explanation is given, so we found this a slightly less enjoyable visit. It is wise to make an appointment in advance via their website.

Champagne houses in France

5. Champagne Drappier (Urville)

Champagne Drappier is one of the few larger champagne houses with international allure in Aube en Champagne. Are you looking for a chic champagne house with champagnes that are known all over the world? Then make an appointment at this champagne house. This is also a champagne house with a lot of history. For example, Drappier wine cellars were built in the 12th century AD, and the family business was created in 1808 when Michel Drappier founded it.

Would you like to visit Champagne Drappier and taste their champagnes? This is only possible by appointment. Click here to get in touch via their website.Vinyards france region

Tip: also nice if you are in the area, visit the Clairvaux Abbey (12 kilometres away), a beautiful monastery from the 12th century AD. The monastery even shares a history with Champagne Drappier!French Monastry in Cote Des Bar En Champagne Frence

6. Champagne Philippe Fourrier (Baroville)

When we accidentally drove past champagne house Philippe Fourrier with our friends Eva and Philippe, we had to stop for a visit just because of the name (Philippe). And that turned out to be a very good idea because Philippe Fourrier’s champagne is delicious. What makes this champagne house so special is that it produces champagne from 100% the same grape variety. So where champagne is often a mix of grape varieties, here they made champagne that is 100% Pinot Meunier, 100% Chardonnay, 100% Pinot Blanc and 100% Pinot Noir. And that is very nice to taste. I am also personally a big fan of the 2008 vintage, golden champagne. So we brought a bottle of it! Click here for more information on the champagne house Philippe Fourrier.

Fun fact: the champagne house Philippe Fourrier in Bar Sur Seine is five generations old. And the sixth generation is currently playing between the champagne bottles and is 7 years old. The granddaughter of one of the Philippe’s after whom this house is named is a cute girl who joined the tasting together with her little brother to watch us taste the champagne. Who knows in 15 years’ time, she might be doing the guided tours!

Philippe Fourrier Champange champagne region Cote Des Bar France

7. Champagne D. Massin (Ville sur Arce)

This small family house not only produces delicious champagne but also has a limited edition of Chablis wine. Tristan, the virologist and one of the Massin children, has had a few hectares of vineyard in Chablis for a number of years, where he now also produces the white chardonnay wine, which is delicious! But back to champagne, because that’s what we’re here for. Our favourite champagne here is the Cuvée de Réserve, made from Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. It is a light, golden champagne that is easy to drink, we love it!

When Tristan asks us if we might want to taste the freshly pressed wine that will be used for champagne in the future, we don’t say no. And so we walk behind him into the wine cellar, where there are small wooden wine barrels with a stool in them. The wine in these barrels is only 4 weeks old, so super fresh. When Tristan takes the wine out of the barrel with a pipette and pours it into our glasses, he warns, this won’t taste like the champagne and wine we know. It is indeed completely different, this young wine. Much more acidity and stronger than we are used to, but it is a fun idea that we drink such young champagne.

All in all, a very nice experience, and highly recommended! If you also want to visit the D. Massin champagne house, it is wise to contact us first. This is possible via the website of D. Massin. Do you give my regards to Tristan?


Fun activities in the Côte des Bar or Aube en Champagne

In addition to visiting the champagne houses and vineyards, there are other fun things to do in the southern champagne region. Below is a summary of what to do in and around Côte des Bar!

1. Just outside the Côte des Bar: the beautiful old town of Troyes

Troyes is located just outside the Côte des Bar, it is a place that you should not miss. With the historic old centre, the cathedral, basilica and beautiful church, it is a very attractive place. You can also eat and drink in star restaurants or cosy cafes and sleep in a beautiful hotel such as Hotel La Maison de Rhodes & Spa.Traditional houses of Troyes France Travel Guide

Restaurant tip Troyes: are you looking for good food? Then visit the covered market in town. Here you will find all kinds of stands with delicacies and you will find fish restaurant, Chez Pascal. Here you can eat the tastiest oysters, shrimps and tuna among the local French!French lunch in Troyes France

2. Visit the beautiful village of Colombey-Les-Deux-Eglises

This small village just breathes the French atmosphere. Colombey-Les-Deux-Eglises is located on a hill surrounded by rolling champagne fields, forests and rivers. The cute houses are made of light limestone with a typical Mairie (town hall) and a beautiful church in the middle of the village.Charlotte plans a trip France Champagne AreaVillages champagne region

Charles de Gaulle in Colombey-Les-Deux-Eglises

Well worth a visit is the memorial site of Charles de Gaulle, which is at the very top of the hill. Charles de Gaulle had a country house in Côte des Bar and spent most of his time here during his last years of life. The memorial is characterized by a giant double cross (the cross of Lorraine) symbolizing the “Order of Liberation” in France, which Charles de Gaulle was the leader of. Click here for more information about Charles de Gaulle’s Memorial and entrance fees. You can also visit the old house of Charles de Gaulle, which is located just outside Collombey-Les-Deux-Eglises. Click here for more information.Museum Charles De Gaulle

Eating out in Collombey-Les-Deux-Eglises

Does walking around and taking in history make you hungry? Then step inside at Maison & Tartine. Not only is this a very cute hotel with several beautiful rooms. You can also order simple but tasty dishes here. Note: only open during lunch.Best cafe and restaurants in the champagne regeion France

For a simple but good dinner, you can eat a snack at L’Inter’val. Food with not too much fuss but fair prices and a full plate. Only drawback, after you order the food will be on the table within 5 minutes. Nice if you are hungry, but slow dining is not an option.

Looking for a chic restaurant? Then go for a dish at hotel Hostellerie La Montagne. This chic restaurant/hotel currently has one Michelin star. This does not mean that food is expensive here, we ate a lunch menu for 25 euros per person and the food was great!

Côte des Bar fact: did you know that the truffle (not chocolate, the mushroom) comes from this area? We have eaten the most delicious dishes with truffle several times!

3. Cycling, mountain biking or hiking in the area

The area surrounding the Côte des Bar consists of a hilly landscape full of forests, rivers and lakes. Perfect for cycling through the vineyards, mountain biking in the woods or walking from village to village. Sweating that alcohol out!Local village in Cote des Bar en Champagne France

4. Visit the French Saturday morning market

A lively market takes place every Saturday morning in the villages of Bar-Sur-Aube and Chamont. Fresh fruit and vegetables, tasty sausages, French cheeses and local delicacies can be found here in abundance. Perfect for a Saturday morning breakfast.

Are antiques and flea market really your thing? Then head to the sleepy village of Chateauvilain. Here you will find Castel-Broc a shop full of antiques and trinkets.Boulangerie France

6. Walk around Essoyes, the quaint village where Renoir lived.

In the beautiful Bar sur Seine, you will find the village of Essoyes. This small quaint village is where Renoir lived for a while. You can recognize this village and its surroundings in the dreamy paintings with flowers. Nice to walk around here, have a drink by the water or visit the museum of Renoir.Village of Essoyes France

6. Relax by the lakes in the national park la Foret D’orient.

La Foret D’orient National Park is located in the heart of Aube en Champagne. This nature park, created in 1970, is over 80,000 hectares in size and has more than 70 different lakes and ponds. The three best known are Lac d’Orient, Lac du Temple and Lax Amance. Several beaches have been created at Lac d’Orient and here you can enjoy sunbathing swimming and sailing. Lac du Temple is suitable for sport fishing and on Lac Amance you can do water sports such as water skiing.

There is also a wildlife park in the Forêt d’Orient nature park, called Faunce de la Forêt d’Orient. With a guide, you can visit this to spot birds, see wild horses, moose and sometimes even wild boars.Parc Naturel Régional de la Forêt dOrient


Nice hotels in Cote des Bar (Bar-Sur-Aube)

The three hotels below are all centrally located in Bar-Sur-Aube in the pleasant village of Colombey-Les-Deux-Eglises. Would you rather stay in Troyes? Then click here.

Maison & Tartine

Maison Tartine guest house champagne

Cozy chalets, lodges, apartments and rooms that are fully equipped. The different rooms and lodges are spread over a side street off the main square of the cute town of Colombey-Les-Deux-Eglises. You sleep here from €70.

More information

Domaine Rennepont

domaine rennepont

The cordial hosts Tim and Resi (from the Netherlands) make you feel completely at home in their cozy castle farm. The rooms are beautiful, the garden beautiful and the food delicious. But the best part is the fun here! You sleep here from €65 per room.

More information

Hostellerie de la Montagne
d’Huits 

Hostellerie La Montagne Champagne

This beautiful luxury hotel has a Michelin star restaurant and beautiful rooms. Look at that roll top bath! Perfect if you are looking for comfort and luxury but authenticity! You will sleep in a royal way from €140 per room. 

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