The Marne Valley vineyard commences on one side at Tours-sur-Marne, opposite the spur of Bouzy on the last of the hillocks that mark the boundary of the chalky plain of La Champagne Pouilleuse, and on the other side at Epernay, extending towards Paris along the two banks of the river, but mainly on the right bank with exposure to the south and south-east.
The area descends by way of broad uplands that follow the meandres of the Marne, sometimes drawing close to the river as if to gaze at its reflection in its greenish waters, sometimes drawing back to nestle at the foot of picturesque little hollows.
Of all the crus, Aÿ holds the first rank with Mareuil occupying the second. Renowned for its Pinot Noir, or the Pinot Vert Doré as it is known locally, Aÿ produces remarkable wines: exceptional body, delicate nose (albeit less fresh than their Montagne de Reims counterparts) — qualities that bring finesse and backbone to the blend.
Hautvillers, cradle of Champagne perched above a sea of vines, is where Dom Pérignon, cellar master of the ever-famous abbey, is said to have discovered the art of Champagne-making. Here the Pinot Meunier reigns supreme, except in Dizy, Champillon and Cumières where it is joined by the Pinot Noir. Otherwise, all of the secondary crus beyond, on either side of the river, are exclusively planted with Pinot Meunier, producing much-prized lighter, fresher wines that serve to balance the blends.
The Epernay region is likewise given over to the Pinot Meunier, with old and young vines alike occupying vineyard slopes that extend in one direction from Epernay to Ablois by way of Pierry; and in the other from Brugny-Vaudancourt to Mancy, forming a semicircular sweep of steeply sloping vineyards.
The wines reflect their picturesque landscape, offering good body and a distinctive freshness that is much sought after by Champagne blenders.
|11 979.70 ha
|Côteaux Sud d’Epernay||11||878||1 265.70 ha||40.95%||46.73%||12.20%|
|Grande Vallée de Marne||9||1 116||1 828.20 ha||18.98%||15.51%||65.40%|
|Terroir de Condé||9||223||871.00 ha||11.60%||66.02%||22.34%|
|Vallée de la Marne Ouest||32||558||2 414.20 ha||15.32%||68.86%||15.68%|
|Vallée de la Marne Rive Droite||23||1 409||3 029.80 ha||11.16%||70.73%||18.01%|
|Vallée de la Marne Rive Gauche||16||1 037||2 570.80 ha||11.33%||77.22%||11.42%|