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The vine area of Champagne includes the eastern part of the Parisian basin, and is located in Northeastern France. It covers five departments : Marne, Aube, Aisne, Haute-Marne and Seine-et-Marne. This area is the northernmost of France and thus it's subjected to a continental climate with warm summers and severe winters. It is from the four regions (Montagne de Reims, Côte des Blancs, Vallée de la Marne and Aube's vineyard) that the wine-grower will be able to blend their grape varieties  to form its cuvée, in other terms the  base wine which will become its future champagne. 
The vine area is 74130 acres. The champagne is light, fine and foamy because of  the limestone which is found in the soil.

Main grape varieties

Red grape varieties

  • Pinot Noir : gives strong wines with backbone and a fine bouquet.
  • Pinot Meunier : the supple and fruity grape variety evolves rapidly and therefore is good for blending. 

White grape varieties

  • Chardonnay : this grape variety benefits from the limestone found in the soil of Côte des Blancs, and gives a fresh, elegant and delicate wine with floral and mineral flavours.

There are three types of champagne vinification : the first one, made from the three grape varieties during the blending ; the second one made from Chardonnay (blanc des blancs or white of whites) and the last one made from the two red grape varieties, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier (blanc des noirs or white of blacks which are powerful and fruity) 

Champagne's appellations

There are three appellations in Champagne : PDO Champagne, PDO Côteaux Champenois and PDO Rosé des Riceys.

A non vintage wine can be kept for 3 years, a vintage one for 3 to 6 years and the « cuvée spéciale » for 4 to 10 years.