Reims, France: Touring the Caves at Maison Vranken Pommery
At Vranken Pommery, the artwork found throughout the caves is just as much on display as the racks of champagne bottles lining the walls and filling the storage rooms.The estate was built in 1868 to represent modernity and extravagance, images that remain clearly visible throughout the property today.
Upon descending the 116 steps into the cellar, visitors will instantly become aware of the atypical surroundings of the Pommery caves. In upholding Madame Pommery’s reputation as a great supporter of the arts, the cellars house a permanent collection of contemporary art in addition to serving as an unusual gallery space for temporary exhibitions of the same genre. Neon colored lighting cuts through the dimly lit cellars, highlighting a stark contrast between the modernity of the house and its rich and historic champagne producing traditions.
A variety of guided tours are available throughout the year, the standard being the “Découverte” tour, which includes a tour of the cellars during which the history of the house and an overview of the champagne making process are presented. This basic tour can be combined with a viewing of the house’s contemporary art exhibit, “La Belle Histoire” tour or a tour of the estate on a mini train before continuing with the Découverte tour. All tours include a tasting. The “Train” tour is only offered seasonally.