Champagne village profile: Ludes, a premier cru village in the Grande Montagne de Reims

Diagram Ludes 201504Key facts

Located in: Montagne & Val de Reims: Grande Montagne de Reims
Vineyards and grape varieties: 318.5 hectares (787 acres), of which 52% Pinot Meunier, 31% ha Pinot Noir, and 17% Chardonnay.
Classification: Premier cru (94%)
Noted for: Pinot Meunier and Pinot Noir from north-facing slopes, home village of Canard-Duchêne.

Maps

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


Google Maps view with the villages in the Grande Montagne de Reims highlighted. The grand cru villages are in green, the premier cru villages are in yellow, and the autre cru villages in orange. The light green box shows the Perle blanche area.

Clicking on a village opens a field to the left with a link to the village profile.

Neighbouring villages

West: Chigny-les-Roses (premier cru)
North: Taissy (premier cru)
East: Mailly-Champagne (grand cru)

The village

The town hall (Hotel de ville) of Ludes. Picture linked from Wikimedia Commons (photo G.Garitan 2013).

Ludes is located on the northern side of the Montagne de Reims hill.

The Ludes commune has a total surface of 1222 hectares, of which 416 ha forest and 318.5 ha Champagne vineyards, and 619 inhabitants (as of 2012), referred to as Ludéens and Ludéennes.

The inhabitants sometimes call the village “Ludes-le-Coquet”, but the epithet (meaning charming or “coquettish”) is not part of the official name of the commune.

Vineyards

The vineyards of Ludes mostly consist of north-facing slopes, but variations from west- to east-facing exists. They contain mostly Pinot Meunier and Pinot Noir. Ludes has a higher proportion of Pinot Meunier than its immediate neighbours on the slope, Chigny-les-Roses and Mailly-Champagne.

The current vineyard surface in the Ludes commune is 318.5 hectares (787 acres). There are 164.7 ha Pinot Meunier (51.7%), 99.6 ha Pinot Noir (31.3%), 53.8 ha Chardonnay (16.9%), and 0.4 ha other (0.1%). Numbers from CIVC, as of 2013. In 1997, the vineyard surface was 318 ha. There are 151 vineyard owners (exploitants) in the commune.

Champagne houses that control vineyards in Ludes include Cattier, Gardet, Moët & Chandon, and Taittinger.

Single vineyard sites

  • Les Beaux Regards is a vineyard with sand-limestone-silt soil. Bérêche & Fils uses Chardonnay planted in 1964 from this site for Les Beaux Regards, which also contains grapes the site Les Clos, though.
  • Les Clos is a vineyard with sand-limestone-silt soil. Bérêche & Fils also uses Chardonnay planted in 1970 from this site for Les Beaux Regards.
  • Les Crans d’en haut is a west-facing vineyard with chalky soil. Bérêche & Fils uses Chardonay planted in 1969 from this site for the vintage cuvée Le Cran.
  • La Vigne St Jean is an east-facing vineyard with chalky soil. Bérêche & Fils uses Pinot Noir planted in 1973 from this site for the vintage cuvée Le Cran.

Other single vineyard sites in Ludes include Champs des Dames, Les Chemins d’AmisLa Grosse Pierre, Les Hautes Plantes, Les Noues, St Mards, and Les Sentiers.

Champagne producers

Major Champagne houses, members of the Union des Maisons de Champagne

  • Canard-Duchêne, a Champagne house founded in 1868 by Victor Canard and Léonie Duchêne, and located in Ludes since then. Their son Edmond, who took over in 1890, sold to the Russian imperial court and was granted permission by the royal family to use the Russian two-headed eagle as his symbol, which the house has continued to do ever since. The house continued to be owned by the family until 1978, when LVMH took over. In 2003, Canard-Duchêne was bought by Alain Thiénot and is today part of the Groupe Thiénot, together with the Champagne houses Joseph Perrier, Thiénot, and Marie Stuart. These house are supplied with grapes (including purchased grapes) from about 400 ha in 60 villages. The more ambitious part of the range (five different cuvées) is called Charles VII.

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.

  • Raphaël et Vincent Bérêche (NM), a newly started négociant business by the people behind Bérèche & Fils (see below).
    Blog post with tasting of R&V Bérèche Champagnes.
  • Forget-Brimont (NM), has 18 ha of vineyards in Mailly-Champagne, Verzenay, Chigny-les-Roses, Coulommes-la-Montagne, Ludes, Montbré, Sermiers, Taissy, and Villers-Allerand.
    • Michel Forget is another brand being used.
  • Huré Frères (NM), a member of Les Artisans du Champagne with vineyards in Ludes, Ville-Dommange, Brouillet, Serzy-et-Prin, and Vavry-le-Grand. After a new generation having joined the business, this producer is in the middle of a stylistic change and a period of improved quality where they’ve taken some steps toward a “modern small grower style”. As of 2015, the range still consists of a mixture of cuvées in older and younger style. The two traditional top cuvées are Terre Natale, a vintage cuvée that is sold after at least 10 years on the lees, and Mémoire, produced from a solera that was started in 1982.
    Blog post with a tasting (2015) of some Champagnes from Huré Frères.
  • Ployez-Jacquemart (NM), has vineyards in Ludes and Mailly-Champagne.

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.

  • Bérêche & Fils (RM), one of the new generation of small growers that has received attention since Raphaël Bérèche took over in 2005. Practices biodynamic viticulture and has 9.5 ha of vineyards in Festigny (Vallée de la Marne), Trépail, Ormes (Vesle & Ardre), and Ludes. Les Beaux Regards (Chardonnay) is sourced from old vines in Ludes and mainly from the vineyard site of this name, but also from Les Clos. Rive Gauche (Pinot Meunier), formerly called Vallée de la Marne Rive Gauche is sourced from a site in Mareuil-le-Port, Maisonselle (formerly Les Misy was used instead). Le Cran (50% Chardonnay and 50% Pinot Noir) is vintage-dated and originates from two vineyard sites in Ludes, Les Cran d’en haut for Chardonnay and La Vigne St Jean for Pinot Noir. Reflet d’Antan is produced using a solera started in 1985. The range also includes a still red wine (a Coteaux Champenois) from a vineyard in Ormes, Ormes Rouge Les Montées, consisting of about 75% Pinot Noir and 25% Pinot Meunier from old vines planted in 1965.
  • Blondel (RM), has a south-facing vineyard of 10 ha in a single block (very unusual for such a size) with half Pinot Noir and half Chardonnay.
  • Brixon Coquillard, member of Vignerons Indépendants.
  • Thierry Collin Père et Fils (RC)
  • Benoit Delabryere
  • Gérard Doré, also G. Doré, member of Vignerons Indépendants.
  • Régis Emery (RM), has a bit more than 9 ha vineyards in Ludes, Chigny-les-Roses, Mailly-Champagne, Rilly-la-Montagne, and Taissy.
  • Forget-Chauvet (RM), member of Vignerons Indépendants, has 10 ha of vineyards. The most ambitious cuvée is called Flaçon Celeste and is a blanc de noirs. Owner of Château de Ludes.
  • Forget-Chemin (RM), member of Vignerons Indépendants (since 2001) and a Special Club producer (member since 1973). Has 12 ha of vineyards in Mailly-Champagne, Verzenay, Ludes, Taissy, Pevy, Treslon, Faverolles, Vandières, Verneuil, andPort-à-Binson, with 13% Chardonnay, 17% Pinot Noir, and 66% Pinot Meunier. The annual production is 100 000 bottles. The composition of their Special Club is 50% Pinot Noir and 50% Chardonnay (refers to the 2008 vintage).
  • Forget Favereaux
  • Jean Claude François Delage or J.C. François Delage, has 12 ha of vineyards in the Vallée de la Marne, Massif de Saint-Thierry, Montagne de Reims, and in the Aube.
  • Gaidoz Forget (RM), member of Vignerons Indépendants, has 9 ha of vineyards. Also uses the name Henri-Forget and has earlier used Forget-Menu.
  • Gautron-Godet (RC)
  • Georgeton-Rafflin (RC), member of Vignerons Indépendants, has 3.5 ha of vineyards in three villages.
  • Jobert Robert & Fils (RM)
  • Bertrand Jorez
  • Jorez-Le Brun (RC), has a Facebook page
  • Jorez-Lejeune
  • J.P. Jullien-Diot
  • Denis Lallement (RM)
  • Lamarche, has vineyards in Ludes, Bisseuil, Chaumuzy, and Chambrecy.
  • Monmarthe (RM), member of Vignerons Indépendants. Has 17 ha of vineyards, of which 15 ha in Ludes and 2 ha in Taissy, with 35% Pinot Noir, 35% Chardonnay, and 30% Pinot Meunier.
  • Mourey Dumangin (RM)
  • Quatresols Jamein (RM)
  • Quatresols-Gauthier (RM), has vineyards in five villages.
  • J.H. Quenardel
  • Serge Rafflin (RC)
  • Georges Sohet & Fils, member of Vignerons Indépendants, has 4 ha of vineyards and an annual production of about 35 000 bottles.

Comment: The list is probably not not complete.

Cooperative

When bottles are sold directly by a cooperative the producer status is given as CM = coopérative de manipulation, as opposed to RC when sold by a cooperative member under their own name.

  •  Coopérative Vinicole (à Ludes), has 94 members with a total of 92 ha of vineyards.

The church in Ludes. Picture linked from Wikimedia Commons (photo G.Garitan 2013).

Links

© Tomas Eriksson 2014-2016, last update 2016-07-10

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