The Champagne Boutique

Champagne and the Regions – Tutorial 1

In Tutorial on May 26, 2010 at 7:03 pm

Our passion is the understanding of champagne, its artisanal elaboration and of course enjoy tasting it! This is why we focus solely on grower champagnes as we believe they are the true ambassadors of such a beautiful wine region. We have created this tutorial to guide you throughout this journey with a bit of extra knowledge in order to understand better why we made this decision. Every two weeks we will be covering a new topic, so do visit us!

So welcome to the first step into this easy-to-read tutorial on true Champagne.

Before exploring the grapes, the appellations, the flavours or even biodynamic viticulture we need to be able to locate the region and sub-regions. Don’t we say that no one can run before walking?

Situated in northern France the region can be found around 150km east of Paris and covers around 34000 hectares as stated since 1927 when the AOC (Controlled Origin Appellation) set the rule of producing Champagne wine. In this area we can find 319 “crus” (Towns or villages) very lucky to be situated on the septentrional limit of vine culture in Europe which is between 48 and 49.5 degrees North and benefits of a double climatic influence (Continental and Oceanic).

The Champagne “vignoble” is diverse. This place is unique, wine makers have great personalities and shake hearts and emotions. This region spreads in four sub-regions with each one bearing great specificity and fragmented with  “Parcelles” of each a third of an acre.

MONTAGNE DE REIMS:  Surrounding the south west side of Reims, the “Ville des Rois” (City of Kings), where most French Kings have been crowned in the iconic Cathedral the appellation is quite flat with not many hills and clay fields and is planted mainly with Pinot Noir.

VALLEE DE LA MARNE: Spreading from the east side of Epernay to the west side of Chateau Thierry some medium height hills is planted mostly Pinot Meunier.

THE COTE DES BLANCS: Literally called the white steeps this area is one of the most exciting one housing many of the most prized villages. Blessed with clay soil it spreads within the south of Epernay from Cezanne to Vitry-Le-Francois. Being called white it states that the grape growing there is Chardonnay.

THE COTE DES BAR: Not very well known by most people this sub-region is now home of extraordinary wine makers. All around the city if Troyes, from Montgueux to Bar-sur-Seine it is mostly planted with Pinot Noir.

Now that we have got most of the regions we can look more in depth about the climate next time.

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