Verzenay Lighthouse (Phare de Verzenay)
A landmark in the middle of the undulating Champagne region and surrounded by endless vines rather than sea, the Verzenay Lighthouse was the brainchild of Joseph Goulet, a Champagne producer who wanted to publicize his brand. Constructed in 1909, the lighthouse stands high on Mt Rizon and originally had a restaurant and nightclub at its base.
Thanks to its proximity to the Front Line, the lighthouse was used as an observation tower during World War I and afterwards it fell into disrepair. The residents of the Grand Cru village of Verzenay bought back the building in 1987 and over the next decade slowly restored it; the entertaining and informative multimedia Musée de la Vigne (Vine Museum) opened there in 1999, detailing the annual cycle of Champagne production with interactive displays, touch screens and movies. It was not until 10 years later that the spiral staircase inside the lighthouse was rebuilt and today visitors can once more climb 82 ft (25 m) to the top for views across the world-famous vineyards of Champagne; after the 102-step climb the tasting bar is a welcome sight, featuring ever-changing guest Champagnes. A stop-off to the Verzenay Lighthouse can be combined with renowned Champagne houses such as Moët et Chandon and Taittinger as well as visiting Reims and Epernay along the Route de Champagne.
Verzenay Lighthouse (Phare de Verzenay) Tours and Activities
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