It's harvest season in the vineyards which means it's one of the best times to make a trip to the Champagne region in north-eastern France. A mere 1 hour 15 minutes by train from Paris and you've arrived in Epernay, the home of the great Champagne houses including Moet & Chandon, Taittinger and Mumm. It's also a stunning region with lots of little surrounding villages, sloping vineyards and chateaux.
For the whole month of September and early October, several winegrowers organise grape picking days for guests. You'll start with a big breakfast, then head out to the vineyards to pick grapes, followed by a lunch at the chateau with all the grape pickers. In the afternoon, the owners will give you a tour of the cellars, introduce you to wine pressing and then you can finally indulge in a nice glass of champagne in the sun.
For more information, visit: www.ot-epernay.frThere are some gorgeous, relatively affordable chateaux in the area should you want to spend the night after a long day of picking and drinking.