The Champagne terroir12/16/2015
Benefitting from a specific climate, soil quality and topography, the Champagne terroir encompasses a patchwork of micro-terroirs endowed with unique characteristics.
Within the Champagne region, 4 major growing areas produce different champagnes with distinctive flavors. Over time, growers have selected the grape varieties best suited to the nature of the Champagne terroir.
- Located in central Champagne, the Côte des Blancs is the growing region of Chardonnay grapes.
- In the northeast between Épernay and southern Reims, the Montagne de Reims favors Pinot Noir grapes and produces full-bodied champagnes.
- West of Épernay, the Vallée de la Marne stretches all the way to the greater Paris region of Île-de-France. High quality crus are produced in the east of this area, notably in Mareuil and Ay.
- To the south, the Côte des Bar in the Aube department produces distinctive champagnes, despite its reputation as a second-tier terroir.
Key figures (2015)
- 33,105 hectares in production (source: Syndicat des Vignerons);
- 319 crus (common) ranked into 17 Grands Crus, 44 Premiers Crus and 263 Other Crus;
- 16,000 growers in the Champagne region.
- 90% of total production consists in Brut champagne.
- Vineyards planted to grow a mix of Pinot Noir (38%), Pinot Meunier (32%) and Chardonnay (30%).