Champagne has always been associated with celebration and romance, thanks to the eponymous drink’s plentiful bubbles and fine mousse.
Just a 1 hour drive from Paris, the region has a cool and continental climate, creating the perfect growing conditions for quality sparkling wine production. The many sub-appellations include Vallée de la Marne, Montagne de Reims, Côtes des Blancs, Côtes de Sézanne and the Côtes de Bar, all based on calcareous soils but varying in micro climate, so that every terroir has a unique story to tell.
Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier dominate plantings, although there are seven permitted varieties in the region which all offer something different to a blend. Non-Vintage styles are typically produced from the three classic grapes and make up the majority of the region’s production. Chardonnay brings freshness and citrus aromas, Pinot Noir contributes red fruit and structure, and Pinot Meunier offers aromatics and weight. Wines made from 100% Chardonnay, known as Blanc de Blancs, can be fresh and linear when young, developing nutty and toasty flavours over time, whilst Blanc de Noirs styles are only made from the black Champagne grapes, and tend to be fuller in style with red fruit aromas and earthy notes. Vintage Champagnes are only made in the very best years, and are concentrated, elegant, cellar-worthy wines.
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