When Pam wanted to visit vineyards rather than just cellars, I asked a local friend if she knew of any tours (that didn't cost an arm and a leg). Her cousin is a champagne grower, so she got us in touch with her. And her cousin was more than generous with her time - she spent over FIVE HOURS with us!
She showed us the vines, with the three different types of grapes that are used to make champagne (pinot noir, pinot meunier, and chardonnay). She explained how highly regulated the industry is, and how they interact with the vines during different seasons. Grapes for champagne are still harvested by hand. She patiently answered all of our questions.
Then she took us to the co-op cellar for a tour, where she even managed to get a guide for us in English. (Nice for me, to not have to translate!) And after the tour, she took us to see the Château-Thierry castle and park, and then back to her home for another tasting. And her champagne was delicious! They sell the majority of their grapes to the co-op, but do some of their own bottling. We can happily recommend Marchand Delpech Laborie champagne if you are ever in the area.