5th stage in our Trip in the French vineyards: the unmissable Champagne vineyard! The vineyard of Champagne is one of the pillars of French viticulture along with Bordeaux and Burgundy. Its international fame was created thanks to the festive moments that we share around a glass of champagne!
How well do you know the Champagne vineyard?
The Champagne vineyard is located on 5 departments: Marne, Aisne, Seine-et-Marne, Haute-Marne and Aube. There are more than 33 000 hectares of AOC vines in the vineyard, planted on limestone and marl soils.
The grape varieties used are Pinot Noir (38%), Pinot Meunier (32%) and Chardonnay (30%). Arbane, Petit Meslier, Pinot blanc and Pinot gris (all white grapes), also authorized for the production, represent less than 0.3% of the vineyard. They benefit from a temperate-oceanic climate with continental influence.
A few numbers
• There are approximately 16 000 winemakers and 320 Champagne Houses
•;The production of the vineyard is 90% of sparkling wine, 5% of red wine, 5% of rosé wine.
• There are 3 appellations: Champagne, Coteaux champenois and Rosé des Riceys ; and 2 IGP: Coteaux de Coiffy and Haute-Marne
The vineyard is divided into 4 great wine regions: Montagne de Reims, Vallée de la Marne, Côte des Blancs and Côte des Bars.
What wine and food pairings?
If the famous sparkling wine is very often served at the end of the meal with the dessert, it can easily accompany a whole meal and goes perfectly with many dishes. Here is a non-exhaustive list of the best food and wine pairings…
Aperitif and starters
The foie gras: Half-cooked, it will go well with a vinous, powerful and ripe champagne. If the foie gras is fried, choose a Champagne with a dominant of Chardonnay, to marry the acidity of the wine with the fat of the liver.
Serve a lively, fresh and crystalline champagne to go with cold meats, seafood, small cheese dishes… However, avoid dishes that are too salty so as not to crush the wine.
With a champagne blanc de blanc, you can easily serve fish and seafood dishes, poultry and white meat in a cream sauce and a little spicy. The bubbles will be attenuated thanks to the sauce, and the flavours of the dish will be sublimated.
Cheeses and desserts
Most champagnes go very well with many cheeses: either hard cheeses (sheep cheese, Comté, Parmesan) or soft cheeses such as Brie and Camembert, as long as they are not too strong.
Red fruit desserts are good allies of rosé champagne. However, avoid chocolate-based desserts, except with a soft, semi-dry champagne.
Of course, your personal taste is what matters most, and all kinds of combinations are possible!
Are you attracted by all this? Do you want to discover all the secrets of this delicious sparkling wine? The vineyard invites you to experience the Champagne region. The same word to designate a region and the wine it produces.
Come and discover the places where the world’s most coveted wines are produced.
The producers welcome you all year round, in their champagne house: cellar visits, tasting, learning about the production process, and other great activities… You’ll take your eyes and taste buds by storm!
AR Lenoble is one of the few Champagne Houses still family-run and totally independent. Anne and Antoine Malassagne, great-grandchildren of the founder, now manage the estate. The same goes for Champagne Charles Mignon, with the transmission of mothers to daughters, wives to husbands, and fathers to sons, the estate today has the capacity to transform a moment into an unforgettable experience. Take advantage of the discovery tours, gourmet visits and sensory workshops to learn all about their sparkling wine…