Sundays in Champagne are pretty boring, so I ended up driving around and looking at many of the villages and vineyards I wasn't specifically visiting. Its obvious why many of the grand crus and important 1ers are classified more highly than their neighbors.
Just some observations:
Hautvillers gentile slopes, mostly south and SE exposure. The abbey was impressive as well.
Verzy and Verzenay where very steep and hilly with east facing vines. There's also a facinating park in Verzy with a high ropes corse and a champagne bar, odd...
Ambonnay and Bouzy have a gorgeous SE facing slope that's quite gentle.
Trepail, a 1er next to Ambonnay is clearly inferior to it's neighbor, with less elevation and shallow slopes and more south and north facing vines.
Tours-sur-Marne, maybe I missed something or didn't see the right area, but for the life of me I couldn't figure out why this was grand cru. For that matter there weren't even many vineyards,
Oiry - same deal as Tours sur Marne
Chouilly had one impressive hill with all the right stuff and then a bunch of valley floor, who cares vineyards.
Cuis is to Cramant, as Trepail is to Ambonnay. Cramant is a steep amphitheater that is quite impressive and obvious as to why it's grand cru.
Both the cotes de blanc and the montagne de Reims, at the southern end, look very much like the cote d'or in burgundy.
The Vallėe de la Marne is less uniform, with steeper slopes and a variety of directions in which the vines face. After seeing all these areas I'm hoping and looking forward to more growers taking an interest in showing off their terroirs.