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The Champagne wine region

The production area of the Champagne appellation d’origine contrôlée (AOC) was first legally defined by a law passed in 1927. It covers 34,000 hectares on the eastern part of the Paris Basin and includes 319 crus or villages spread over five départements: Marne (67%), Aube (23%), Aisne (9%), Haute-Marne and Seine-et-Marne.

The wine production area is split into four main regions:

- Montagne de Reims

- Vallée de la Marne

- Côte des Blancs

- Côte des Bar

 

It comprises just under 281,000 parcels of vines, the average size of which is 12 acres.

The villages are awarded a rating between 80% and 100%: Some 17 villages have earned the grand cru (‘great growth’) rating and 42 villages the premier cru (‘first growth’) rating.

The three major components of the Champagne terroir are:

- The climate is transitional, oceanic, and subject to continental influences

- The soil is predominantly limestone and covered with a thin layer of clay-sand deposits. The topsoil is slim but combined with the subsoil drainage is excellent. Champagne was still “20 thousand leagues beneath the seas” 90 million years ago. The fossil rocks provide a tremendous water reserve. Consequently, the wines never suffer from drought.

- Landscape: the Champagne wine region is planted at between 90 and 300 metres altitude. The vineyards grow on hillsides, mostly south/southeast facing, of which the average gradient is 12% but some slopes can reach up to 60% which facilitates the runoff of excess water. The Champagne terroir is steep and hilly.

 

The three grape varieties:

Pinot noir: 39%

- Pinot meunier: 32%

- Chardonnay: 29%

 

Office de Tourisme Intercommunal d'Hautvillers 51160 Hautvillers Tél. 03 26 57 06 35 • Fax 03 26 51 72 66

Place de la République - 51160 Hautvillers
Tél:+33 (0)3 26 57 06 35 • Fax:+33 (0)3 26 51 72 66
info@tourisme-hautvillers.com
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