Champagne is a region which together constitute the most northern Alsace wine region of France (now the geographical limits of the cultivation of the vine). In this area, the characteristic shape of a "wye" inverted, 9 grape varieties are grown well, are the main 3 that is the Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Pinot meunier (so named for the powdery patina covering the grape) and 6 minor or Pinot blanc, the Arbanne, Petit Meslier, the Fromenteau, Pinot gris and Enfumé.
LE CRAI AND le CAVES
The Champagne wine-growing areas are the Montagne de Reims (suited to produce Pinot noir from which you get the "Blanc de noir"), the Vallée de la Marne crossed from the river, the Cote des Blancs planted with Chardonnay, the range of the most common East that produce excellent Pinot Noir and finally, further south, the Aube area but is less suited the above.
Champagne in the product specification is extremely complex and ranks the blend according to the "Cru" of membership (see below). For the entire region is provided for a scale of values at the municipal level, ranging from 100% to a minimum of 80%. Seventeen municipalities are evaluated with the highest score (100%) called Grand Cru, 44 are the Premiers Crus whose percentage value ranging from 90 to 99%, 157 the Cru with 80-89% value. So the value of the grapes produced in a given municipality and the payment of the same in commercial transactions will be designated by the score to that municipality.
Still on the subject of legislation, it should be noted that the Champagne is to AOC area - Appellation d'Origine Contrôlée (like the Italian DOC), but the only case in France, the label champagne no such wording carries mandatory instead in other wine regions. A pantry which implies the obvious. Another peculiarity: the fermentation system for the fermentation (which takes place necessarily in the bottle), or the "Champenois Method", is a diction prohibited in any other part of France and the rest of the world. Only the champagne can boast of such a reference.
SCALE OF CRU
In the Champagne region applies the "scale of cru" (Echelle des Crus) designed to classify the grapes used to make it the champagne. This classification was established early last century, depending on the quality of each individual Cru and its distance from the commercial heart of Champagne, Reims and Epernay. The system classifies the different municipalities of the Champagne based on the commercial value (in percentage) of the grapes grown in them.
The municipalities are divided into three broad categories: Grand Cru (grapes value 100%), Premier Cru (90/99%), Cru (80/89%).
Those who over time have provided the best grapes fall into the category Grand Cru (they are 17 and occupy 9% of the Champagne), below we show the list to be:
- 9 in the Montagne de Reims: Ambonnay, Beaumont-sur-Vesle, Bouzy, Louvois, Mailly, Puisieulx, Sillery, Verzenay and Verzy.
- 6 in La Côte des Blancs: Avize, Chouilly, Cramant, Le Mesnil-sur-Oger, Oger and Oiry.
- 2 in the Valley of the Marne: Ay and Tours-sur-Marne
Subsequently are 44 municipalities belonging to the category Premier Cru:
Avenay, Bergères-les-Vertus, Bezannes, Billy le Grand, Bisseuil, Chamery, Champillon, Chigny les Roses, Chouilly (Pinot Noir), Coligny (Chardonnay), Cormontreuil, Coulommes la Montagne, Cuis, Cumières, Dizy, Ecueil, Etrechy (Chardonnay), Grauves, Hautvillers, Jouy-les-Reims, Les Mesneux, Ludes, Mareuil sur Aÿ, Montbré, Mutigny, Pargny les Reims, Pierry, Rilly la Montagne, Sacy, Sermiers, Taissy, Tauxières, Tours-sur-Marne (Chardonnay ), Trépail, Trois Puits, Vaudemanges, Vertus, Villedommange, Villeneuve Renneville, Villers Allerand Villers Marmery, Villers Aux Noeuds, Voipreux, Vrigny.
Finally there remain 257 municipalities in the region that belong to generic Cru.