After that aperitif, it was time for lunch and we headed to La cave a Champagne on Rue Gambetta for what would be one of the best meals of the trip. We all ordered off the 3-course prix-fixe menu and were delighted with every dish.
With full stomachs we wandered up the hill to our first tasting appointment at the Champagne House of Charles Mignon, a family run winery. We were taken on a tour by the daughter of the winemaker, a fifth-generation Mignon. They even had a short video in English for us that explained their history and their process. The champagne was tasty and I bought a bottle to bring home. Our second appointment was at Charles Ellner, chosen because they were located close to the first tasting, and because I apparently like the name Charles. This place was beautiful, our guide/hostess very charming, and the champagne was quite distinctive. We could have stayed there all afternoon!
I was very pleased with the Champagne Houses for our tastings; I chose them fairly randomly off a map of Epernay. They were close to each other, but just enough up the hill that I thought they may not be visited by a lot of the day tourists to the town so might be a little different. Plus, they answered my emails right away, and both spoke English. When you don't know a lot about the Champagne region, sometimes that is all it takes!