The Musée du Vin de Champagne et d'Archéologie régionale opens its doors!

May 26, 2021 • 3 mins
Team Grappers

On Saturday 29 May, the Musée du Vin de Champagne et d'Archéologie (the Champagne Wine and Regional Archaeology Museum) opens its doors to the public for the first time. Here you will find a collection of more than 80,000 archaeological exhibits from the Champagne region and 6,000 exhibits devoted to the history of champagne, displayed in the magnificent Château Perrier, located on the opulent and prestigious Avenue de Champagne in Epernay

Château Perrier

The construction of Château Perrier began in 1852 and was completed in 1857. The Epernay architect Pierre-Eugène Cordier built this superb building whose architecture is inspired by the French Renaissance and the Louis XIII style. The Château is simultaneously a place of residence and a hospitality venue as well as being used for the production of champagne. Although Charles Perrier and his wife moved to the premises in 1856, the Château has been dedicated to heritage and culture since 1947. 

The museum visit

The museum is split over three levels with a discovery route taking visitors through four themed sections with a common thread running through them all - chalk, as a nod to the Champagne region’s chalky subsoil.

The first section: the formation of the Champagne chalky landscape and subsoil

On the ground floor, the visit begins with the rooms devoted to the geology of the Champagne region. Visitors can learn about the formation of the Champagne landscape and the palaeontological treasures of the subsoil. In this section, the visitor learns how the sea and the lagoons succeeded each other for millions of years, thereby giving rise to the landscape and the chalky subsoil of the Champagne region. This section also covers the animal species that inhabited the region in the time when it was covered by a tropical sea.

The second section: the history of human settlement in the Champagne region

The second floor is dedicated to archaeology. Here visitors will find archaeological collections relating to the history of human settlement in Champagne, from prehistoric times to the early Middle Ages. Virtual reality headsets are available for viewing the interior of a hypogeum, a cave dug into the chalk, which once served as a tomb.

The third section: the history of Champagne winemaking 

The first floor focuses on the wine of Champagne, on its production, of course, but not only that! The museum also highlights all the social, economic, cultural and sensory aspects of champagne. Visitors learn about its history through various digital displays, photos and models. Certain machines, such as the riddling machine, can be operated by visitors.

The fourth section: a tribute to the patrons of the late 19th century and the Belle Époque

Visitors will end their visit in a section that pays tribute to the collectors and patrons of the 19th century and the Belle Époque, who founded the museum. This section is conceived as a cabinet of curiosities, in which paintings, sculptures, furniture, decorative objects and non-European collections are presented.

The museum's English-style garden is a perfect reflection of the luxury character of champagne with its ornamental lake in which the château is reflected. The garden is a haven of peace through which visitors can stroll and admire the vegetation.

Events are held throughout the year. These include museum nights, talks and guided tours, and there are also workshops for children.

An online ticketing service will be available, and although you are not required to book online, it is strongly recommended that you do!

So, how do you fancy a stroll around Château Perrier to take in the décor and scenery while learning more about champagne?