The Wine Region Of Champagne
Champagne is associated with celabration. It
is famous all over the
world and often copied. Perhaps the Kings of France, blessed at the
cathedral in Reims contributed to this legend.
Champagne is a brand, held by about a 100
champagne negotiating houses
(66%). These buy the grapes from the grape farms. These houses
participate in the world wide celebrity of this wine. However, about
5000 grape farmers market their own production production,
in France. The remaining 10% is held by coperatives. Amoung these main
wine dealer houses, 4 of them represent 2/3 of the turnover.
The 'appellation’ Champagne
The wines of Champagne (33344 ha) have only one appellation ;
that is Champagne. However there are certain specials "Premiers
crus" (5620 ha) and "Grands crus" (4450 ha). These specials indicate
that the grapes from the commune are bought on a basis at 90% of
the maximum price or even 100%. These are high quality, “haut de gamme”.
It must also be noted that the region also
produces good reds, rosé and
whites, with the appellation AOC Coteaux Champenois. One example is the
The different grapes types of Champagne
The champagne wines use 3 different grape
types: Pinot Noir
(39%), Pinot Meunier (32%) and Chardonnay (29%). But there is
also some, Pinot Blanc, 'Arbanne and Petit Meslier to a certain degree.
Pinot Noir contributes to the power and
structure of the
Champagne. It gives the hint of red berry taste (cherries,
blackcurrents and raspberries) and a winey character appreciated by
amateurs. Pinot Meunier gives the souppleness, volume with more intense
notes of fruit. This grape type is more resistant, easier to work with,
needs less sunshine, and it is well adapted to this northern zone.
Chardonnay provides delicacy, freshness and
floral flavours to
the Champagne. It must be handless with care to avoid oxidation during
the elaboration of Champange. Champagnes elaborated using only
chardonnay grapes are called « Blanc de blanc »