Champagne village profile: Dizy in the Grande Vallée de la Marne

Diagram Dizy 201503Key facts

Located in: Vallée de la Marne: Grande Vallée de la Marne
Vineyards and grape varieties: 177 ha (437.4 acres), of which 39% Pinot Noir, 37% Chardonnay, and 23% Pinot Meunier.
Classification: Premier cru (95%)
Noted for: Mixed grape varieties from mostly south-facing slopes, home village of Jacquesson.

Map

The map is linked from Wikimedia Commons, and the geographical information originates from OpenStreetMap. The dotted white area corresponds to the vineyards, light yellow indicates other open terrain, and green indicates forest.

Neighbouring villages

West/Northwest: Hautvillers (premier cru)
Northnortheast: Champillon (premier cru)
East: Aÿ (grand cru)
South: Épernay, which is part of Côteaux Sud d’Épernay

View of Dizy from the vineyards above the village, with Épernay in the background. Picture linked from Wikimedia Commons (photo October Ends, 2012).

The village

The town hall (mairie) of Dizy. Picture linked from Wikimedia Commons (photo October Ends, 2012).

Dizy is more-or-less continuous with the built-up area of Épernay, although the village is located on the other side (the north side) of the Marne canal (canal latéral à la Marne) with Magenta located in-between.

The Dizy commune covers 323 ha and counts 1561 inhabitants (as of 2012) called dizyciens and dizyciennes respectively. The actual village is located just east of the D951 road, which is the closest route between Reims and Épernay. Most drive-around visits to Champagne tends to include at least one tour on D951 and pass through the roundabout just west of Dizy.

Since alcoholic beverages are produced here, the name Dizy tends to cause some amusement among English-language visitors. The same thing is true for the village of Bouzy.

View of the northern part of Dizy (the Terre du Crayon area) from the vineyards above the village, with Hautvillers visible in the background. Picture linked from Wikimedia Commons (photo October Ends, 2012).

Vineyards

The vineyards in Dizy are predominantly south-facing slopes, with mixed grape varieties.

The current vineyard surface in the commune is 177 ha (437.4 acres). There are 69.7 ha Pinot Noir (39.4%), 66.1 ha Chardonnay (37.4%), and 41.2 ha Pinot Meunier (23.3%). Numbers from CIVC, as of 2013. In 1997, the vineyard surface was 177 ha. There are 120 vineyard owners (exploitants) in the commune.

Champagne houses that use vineyards in this village include Bollinger, Moët & Chandon, Perrier-Jouët, and Roederer.

Single vineyard sites and vineyard-designated Champagnes

  • Corne Bautray, a vineyard in the eastern part of Dizy, close to the border to the forested parts of northern Aÿ. The exposure is southwest, and the soils clay with a lot of gravel with chalk underneath. Jacquesson owns 1.0 ha of Chardonnay planted in 1960, and it is the origin of one of their Lieux-Dits wines.
  • Les Clos, a vineyard with Pinot Meunier released by Jacquesson as a vineyard wine in in the vintages 2000 and 2002, in small quantities, but then discontinued.
  • Terres Rouges, a vineyard in the southeastern part of Dizy, north of the roundabout (D1/D951) and south of the D386 road, located on both sides of the D951. Jacquesson owns 1.35 ha that at least used to consist of half Pinot Meunier (planted in 1971) and half Pinot Noir (planted in 1993), and it is the source of their vineyard-designated rosé. From the 2007, only Pinot Noir is used for this rosé.
  • Le Léon, a vineyard located just below the D1 road between Dizy and Aÿ, i.e., in the direction of the Marne canal, and on both sides of the commune border between Dizy and Aÿ. According to legend, this vineyard was the source of the Aÿ wine favoured by the 16th century pope Leo X.

Other single vineyard sites in Dizy include Moque-bouteille.

Jacquesson 20140207 vingård

A wall-enclosed vineyard (clos) located directly at the Jacquesson buildings in Dizy. It is however not used for any of their vineyard-designated wines. Picture taken i February 2014.

Champagne producers

Major Champagne houses, members of Union des Maisons de Champagne

  • Jacquesson (NM), a smaller Champagne house of truly high quality. It was founded in 1798 by Memmie Jacquesson in Châlons-sur-Marne. Napoleon was fond of their Champagnes, and Joseph Krug worked for them before he founded his own house. Memmie’s son Adolphe Jacquesson took over after him, but both sons of Adolphe died young, and the company declined from 1875. Léon de Tassigny, a Champagne broker from Reims, took over in 1925, and acquired 11 ha of vineyards in Avize and Oiry that still is part of the vineyards employed by Jacquesson, although they are still owned and run by the de Tassigny family. In 1974, Jacquesson was bought by the Chiquet family (another brach runs Gaston Chiquet) and moved to Dizy, where they had vineyards of their own. Jacquesson also produced some good Champagnes in the 1980s, but it was when brothers Jean-Hervé and Laurent Chiquet took over from their father in the 1990s that they started their journey to the quality summit of Champagne. They have been bold enough to restructure their whole range through the vintages 2000-2003, and have even reduced their production and given up former grape contracts to improve the quality. Jacquesson is basically run as a “big small grower” with 30 ha vineyards of their own (Aÿ, Dizy – slightly more than 6 ha, Hautvillers, Mareuil-sur-Aÿ, Avize, and Oiry), bought-in grapes from another 10 ha, but only from grapes where they have vineyards of their own. Annual production is 260 000-280 000 bottles. Their “standard cuvée” is now the annually numbered 700 cuvée, where the first was number 728, based on the 2000 vintage + reserve wines. The release based on the 2009 vintage + reserve wines is called number 737. After the 2002 vintage, they don’t produce a “regular” vintage Champagne any more, only vineyard-designated Champagnes (Lieux-Dits) in small amounts, priced at the prestige Champagne level. Their release of late-disgorged Champagnes is called Dégorgement Tardif (DT). Nowadays, all their releases are Extra Brut, also the 700 series. It is one of few houses that provide detailed data (grape varieties, vintages, and disgorgement information) on the back label.
  • Nicolas Gueusquin (NM), with the company name Les Roches Blanches, is a Champagne house started by Nicolas Gueusquin in 1994, initially with bought-in bottles from two cooperatives. The vinification facility in Dizy was built in 2006, and a new facility in Oiry was opened in 2012. Since then, Oiry is the home address of this house. There are 10 ha of their own vineyards and grape contracts of 280 ha “from Colombé-le-Sec [Côte des Bar] to Charly-sur-Marne [western Vallée de la Marne]”. In 2011, 5.5 million bottles were sold, mainly through supermarket chains. The Champagnes are sold under the following brands:
    • Louis Rozier, the first mark of the brand, and the one it mainly uses in France.
    • Nicolas Gueusquin, also written N. Gueusquin.
    • French Connection
    • Henri Favre
    • Veuve Durand

Other Champagne houses/négociants

The producer status NM = négociant-manipulant means that purchased grapes can be included in the Champagnes. NM producers can be anything from small producers that supplement their own grapes with some that they buy in, to large Champagne houses that primarily rely on purchased grapes. 

  • J.M. Gobillard & Fils (NM), has its main seat i Hautvillers but also facilities in Dizy.
  • Paul Berthelot (NM), has 16 ha of vineyards from Dizy to Avenay including Aÿ.
  • Trouillard (NM), has its facilities in Dizy but size 2006 also an address in Hautvillers.

Champagne growers

Producer status is indicated where known: RM = récoltant-manipulant, or grower-producers. RC = récoltant-coopérateur, growers that are cooperative members but sell Champagnes under their own name.

  • Alain Bernard et fils (RM), member of Vignerons Indépendants
  • Charles Bliard
  • Bolland
  • R. Bourdelois, has vineyards in Hautvillers, Dizy, Aÿ, and Cumières.
  • G. Brunot (RM), has 4 ha of vineyards.
  • Charbonnier Père et Fils
  • Gaston Chiquet (RM), a Special Club producer with 23 ha of vineyards in Hautvillers, Dizy, Aÿ, Mareuil-sur-Aÿ, Crugny, and Nanteuil-la-Forêt. Annual production is 220 000 bottles. Chiquet Frères was founded in 1919 by Fernand and Gaston Chiquet, although the family had been cultivating vines since 1746. This made them an early small grower with Champagne production of their own. In 1935, Gaston Chiquet created his own company.
  • Gentils, has vineyards in Dizy and Aÿ.
  • Bacart Hanauer
  • Legrand-Mondet
  • Jean-Louis Noël
  • Oriol-Jougnot
  • Vincent Railla
  • Richard-Dhondt (RM), member of Vignerons Indépendants
  • Roualet et Fils
  • Tarillon
  • Vallade & Filles (RM), has 3 ha of vineyards.
  • Marcel Vautrain (RM), has 6 ha of vineyards in Hautvillers, Dizy, Aÿ, and Champillon.
  • Vautrain-Paulet (RM), has vineyards in Dizy and Aÿ.

Comment: the list is probably not complete.

Links

Video clips

Video from a car ride from the neighbouring village of Champillon to the eastern side of Dizy along the D251 road, that gives a good (but somewhat shaky) picture of the landscape and the vineyards. The quick pan to the right at 0:20-0:21 shows Hautvillers, at 0:25-0:30 the calvary is visible at the right-hand side of the road, and the communal border to Dizy is crossed at about 0:39. At the end of the video at 2:45 there are about 200 m of straight road left to the built-up area, and some Dizy houses are visible on the right-hand side of the road.

Here a collection of old postcards showing Dizy, mostly from the early 20th century.

© Tomas Eriksson 2014-2015, last update 2015-07-20

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