Champagne village profile: Damery on the right bank of the Marne valley

Diagram Damery 201503Key facts for Damery

Located in: Vallée de la Marne: Vallée de la Marne Rive Droite
Vineyards and grape varieties: 407.5 hectares (1007.0 acres), of which 62% Pinot Meunier, 21% Pinot Noir and 17% Chardonnay.
Classification: “Autre cru” (89%)
Noted for: one of the largest villages in terms of vineyard size among the “autres crus”.

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 is other open terrain, and green indicates forest.

Neighbouring villages

On the right bank of the Marne
East: Cumières, part of the Grande Vallée de la Marne
Northeast: Romery
North: Fleury-la-Rivière
Westnorthwest: Venteuil

On the left bank of the Marne
Eastsoutheast: Mardeuil, part of the Vallée de la Marne Rive Gauche
Southsoutheast: Vauciennes, part of the Vallée de la Marne Rive Gauche
Westsouthwest: Boursault, part of the Vallée de la Marne Rive Gauche

Damery as seen from the vineyards above the village. Picture linked from Wikimedia Commons (photo Zubro, 2005).

The village

Damery is located at the Marne river, on its right bank, which is north of the river. Damery is the easternmost village along the river that isn’t counted as a part of the Grande Vallée de la Marne, which is the wider part of the Marne valley where the premier cru and grand cru villages are located.

The Damery commune covers 1544 hectares and has 1518 inhabitants (as of 2011) called dameziats and dameziates.

Vineyards above Damery. Picture linked from Wikimedia Commons (photo Pline 2012).

Vineyards

The vineyards in Damery consist of dominating south-facing slopes with Pinot Meunier as the most common grape variety.

In similarity to the neighbouring village, Venteuil, Damery was scored 89% on the now-defunct échelle des crus, which means that these villages just missed out on premier cru classification, which was applied to villages in the 90%-99% range on this scale.

The current vineyard surface in the Damery commune is 407.5 hectares (1007.0 acres). There are 252.2 ha Pinot Meunier (61.9%), 84.0 ha Pinot Noir (20.6%), 69.6 ha Chardonnay (17.1%), and 1.7 ha other (0.4%). Numbers from CIVC, as of 2013. In 1997, the vineyard surface was 382 ha. There are 207 vineyard owners (exploitants) in the commune.

Houses that control vineyards in the village include Bollinger, Pol Roger, Roederer, and Taittinger.

Damery Rouge

Some red wine is produced in Damery under the appellation Coteaux Champenois, but Damery Rouge isn’t as common as Cumières Rouge is, the red wine from the neighbouring village Cumières.

Champagne producers

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

  • A.R. Lenoble (NM), a house with 18 ha of vineyards, including in Chouilly (Côtes des Blancs) and 6 ha in Bisseuil (Grande Vallée de la Marne). Uses low dosage in their Champagnes, which are partially oaked. The two top cuvées are both blanc de blancs (100% Chardonnay) from Chouilly: the vintage Cuvée Gentilhomme which is fully oaked, and the non-vintage Les Aventures, which is vineyard-designated and was launched in 1999 (then composed of 1990, 1995, and 1996).
    History
    The house was founded was Armand-Raphaël Graser, who moved from Alsace 1915 and started to sell Champagnes under the A.R. Lenoble name in 1920.
  • J. de Telmont (NM), a Champagne house that has 36 ha of vineyards and a production of slightly over one million bottles per year. The two top cuvées are both vintage blanc de blancs produced using grapes from Avize and Chouilly: Grand Couronnement is produced in steel tanks and O.R 1735 sees partial (30-40%) oak barrel treatment. The range also includes a Coteaux Champenois from 100% Chardonnay called Insolite.
    History
    The house was founded in 1912 by Henri Lhopital, who sold Champagne under the family name Lhopital. It was his successor André Lhopital who changed the name to the current one, as well as expanded the vineyards under their control.

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.

  • Louis Casters (NM), a house founded in 1899 by Eugène Cadel. The vintage Champagne is a blanc de blancs and the non-vintage top wine is called Cuvée Eugène and consists of 70% Chardonnay and 15% each of Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier.
  • Casters-Liebart (NM), a house founded in 1969 where one branch has the same history as Louis Casters.
  • Alexandre Filaine (RM)
  • Pierre Gilbert
  • Romain Guistel (NM), has 5 ha of vineyards. Also uses the brand:
    • Signature, where the family’s vineyard holdings are stated to be 22 ha.
  • Haton & Fils (NM), has their own vineyards in five villages, Vauciennes, Boursault, Damery, Fleury-la-Rivière, and Cuchery, and purchases grapes from Trépail to make a blanc de blancs.
  • Jean-Noël Haton (NM), also sells Champagnes under the brand:
    • Louis Régnier
  • Prévoteau-Perrier (NM), produces Champagnes from 30 ha of vineyards, of which 22 ha owned by them, in Damery and surrounding villages in the Vallée de la Marne, in the Coteaux Sud d’Epernay and in Chouilly in the Côte des Blancs. Production is just under 300 000 bottles per year.
  • Rigot-Caillez (NM), with a vintage Champagne composed of 50% Pinot Meunier, 25% Chardonnay, and 25% Pinot Noir (refers to 2005).

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.

  • Henry Bertrand
  • Marie Josèphe Bertrand (RM), with 4 ha of vineyards in Damery and Cumières.
  • Jean Billiard (RM)
  • Blaise-Lourdez et Fils (RM)
  • Daniel Caillez (RM), member of Vignerons Indépendants. Has 5.6 ha of vineyards in Damery and Vauciennes. The vintage Champagne is composed of 50% Chardonnay and 50% Pinot Noir (refers to 2006), and the range also includes a vintage-dated Cuvée Héritage composed to 1/3 each of Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and Pinot Meunier (refers to 2009) vinified in oak.
  • Caillez-Lemaire (RM), member of Vignerons Indépendants. Has 7 ha of vineyards, of which a little over 4 ha in Damery and the rest in Vauciennes, Cumières, Hautvillers, Fleury-la-Rivière, and Chaumuzy. Partly uses vinification in oak barrels. The vintage Champagne is called Cuvée Jadis (until the 2003 vintage Cuvée Pauline) and is vinified in oak barrels. The range also includes a Damery Rouge.
  • Charlier-Billiard (RM), whose vintage Champagne is a blanc de blancs.
  • Maurice Choppin (RM), has just under 5 ha of vineyards in Damery, Cumières and Saint-Martin-d’Ablois (in the Côteaux Sud d’Épernay) with 55% Pinot Meunier, 30% Chardonnay, 12.5% Pinot Noir, and 2.5% of the unusual Petit Meslier and Arbanne. Partially uses oak barrels. The two unusual grape varieties end up in a cuvée named Petits Mesliers-Arbannes.
  • Maurice Delabaye et Fils (RM), has about 10 ha of vineyards in Aÿ, Cumières, Hautvillers, Dizy and other villages. Partly uses oak barrels for some cuvées. The vintage Champagnes of the range are Cuvée Victor Delabaye which is composed of 70% Chardonnay and 30% Pinot Noir (refers to 2008 and 2010) and is partly oaked, and the assemblage rosé Cuvée Rose Eloïse Millésime composed of 70% Pinot Noir and 30% Chardonnay.
  • André Goutorbe & Fils (RM), member of Vignerons Indépendants. Has 12 ha of vineyards in the Vallée de la Marne consisting of 35% Chardonnay, 15% Pinot Noir, and 50% Pinot Meunier. Cuvée Plaisir d’Antan is a 100% Chardonnay which is oak barrel-treated and has its cork secured with strings in the old-fashioned way instead of a muselet.
  • Goutorbe-Bouillot (RM), member of Vignerons Indépendants. Has 9 ha of vineyards, all of it in Damery, with about 50% Pinot Meunier, 25% Chardonnay, and 25% Pinot Noir. Annual production is about 55 000 bottles.
  • Eric Lemaire (RM), whose vintage Champagne is composed of 50% Chardonnay and 50% Pinot Meunier (refers to 2002 and 2004). Cuvée Seigneuriale is a non-vintage 100% Pinot Meunier from old vines, with the cork secured with strings in the old-fashioned way.
  • Henri Lemaire (RM), member of Vignerons Indépendants. Has 6 ha of vineyards in Damery and Cumières. The vintage-dated Élégance is composed of 60% Chardonnay, 20% Pinot Noir, and 20% Pinot Meunier (refers to 2005).
  • A. Lété (RC), has 9 ha of vineyards in Damery and Fleury-la-Rivière.
  • Pierre Lété (RC)
  • Moinier-Fourny
  • Guy Niziolek (RM)
  • Yannick Prévoteau (RM), has 10 ha distributed over 12 villages, including Aÿ, Pierry, and Venteuil. La Perle des Treilles features a high proportion of Pinot Noir and has been named for the piece of land (lieu-dit) where their cellar is located, Les Treilles, and also exists in a Nature version. Origine 1911 is a vintage Champagne composed of 70% Chardonnay from the vineyard site Les Hautes Plantes in Vitry, and 15% Pinot Noir from each of Les Barsaux and Les Barils in Venteuil (refers to 2008). The cork is secured with strings in the old-fashioned way.
  • Raymond Vézy (RC)

Comment: The list is probably not complete.

Cooperatives

  • Societe de Vinification is a cooperative with 98 members with a total of 62 ha.

Former Champagne producers

  • Jeeper was started in 1949 in Damery by Armand Goutorbe. Was bought in 2009 by Pressoirs de France in Faverolles-et-Coëmy, where the facilities are now located.

Links

© Tomas Eriksson 2015, last update 2015-11-08

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