Located in subregion / area: Vallée de la Marne / Vallée de la Marne Rive Droite
Vineyards and grape varieties: 357.8 hectares (884.1 acres), of which 72% Pinot Meunier, 18% Pinot Noir, and 10% Chardonnay.
Classification: “Autre cru” (86%)
Google Maps view with the villages in the Vallée de la Marne Rive Droite highlighted.
Clicking on a village opens a field to the left with a link to the village profile.
Verneuil is located on the right bank of the Marne river, which means north of the river.
Although the commune stretches all the way to the river, the actual village is located among the vineyards and along the stream La Semoigne, with a bit over 1 km between the centre of the village and the Marne. On a stretch of about 9 km along the right bank of the Marne river, from Verneuil in the west to Binson-et-Orquigny in the east, flat farmland is found next to the river, but no vineyards and no villages are located directly at the river. The neighbouring village to the west of Verneuil, Vincelles, is located at the river.
The Verneuil commune covers 1314 hectares and has 839 inhabitants (as of 2015), referred to as Verneuillats and Verneuillates.
The vineyards in Verneuil are located both to the east and west of the village, partly on slopes of either side of the stream La Semoigne and partly facing Marne. The vineyards to the west of the village are continuous with those in Vincelles and consist to a large extent of mild south-facing slopes, but also of east- to north-facing slopes. The vineyards to the west of the village are continuous with those in Vandières and to a large part consist of mild southwest-facing slopes, with som south-facing slopes. There is also block of vineyards in the northern part of the commune that is continuous with those in Passy-Grigny and consist of mild southeast-facing slopes.
The current vineyard surface in the Verneuil comune is 357.8 hectares (884.1 acres). There are 259.3 ha Pinot Meunier (72.5%), 63.0 ha Pinot Noir (17.6%), 35.3 ha Chardonnay (9.9%), and 0.2 ha others (<0.1%), which includes Pinot Blanc. Numbers from CIVC, as of 2013. In 1997, the vineyard surface was 336 ha. There are 282 vineyard owners (exploitants) in the commune.
Champagne houses that control vineyards in the village include Joseph Perrier (see below) and Lanson. Lanson’s holdings of 13 ha were bought in 2011 from Leclerc-Briant after Pascal Leclerc-Briant died and the inheritance split up. Lanson continuted to run the vineyard organically (Leclerc-Briant ran it biodynamically) and uses the grapes from 8 ha for their Greeen Label, a certified organic Champagne launched in 2017.
Single vineyard sites
Vineyard sites in Verneuil include:
- La Ravinne, a southsothwest-facing site located to the east of the village, rather high up the slope. Borders in the east to Les Quatrièmes. Leclerc-Briant in Épernay used to produce a vineyard-designated Champagne from this site, using 100% Pinot Meunier from a 2 ha plot, in their Les Authentiques series. The production ceased after they sold their vineyard holding.
- Les Quatrièmes, a southsothwest-facing site located to the east of the village. Borders in the west to La Ravinne. Leclerc-Briant has possibly produced a vineyard-designated Champagne from this site in their Les Authentiques-serie (was mentioned as a future release some years ago).
Other vineyard sites include Le Beauchet, Bouillon Fontaine, Les Carreaux, Le Haut de la Malmaison, La Roche, and Les Vignes du Clos.
Major Champagne houses, members of the Union des Maisons de Champagne
- Joseph Perrier (NM) is a medium-sized Champagne house founded in 1825 with their seat and cellars in Chalons-en-Champagne. Of their own 21 ha of vineyards, all on the right bank of the Vallée de la Marne, 12 ha are located in Verneuil and consist completely of Pinot Meunier. 7 ha are in one continous block.
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.
- Laurent Thibault (ND, Facebook page), has 60% Chardonnay in their vineyards. The Champagnes are produced by the Centre Vinicole in Chouilly, i.e., the cooperative behind Nicolas Feuillatte.
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.
- Bouby-Legouge (RC)
- M. Brismontier-Huet (Facebook page), also written M. Brismontier.
- Didier Cailliez (RC, Facebook page), has a majority of Pinot Meunier in their vineyards.
- Caillot-Thibault (RC, Facebook page), whose range includes the vintage Champagne Cuvée Prestige composed of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir.
- Jacques Copin (RM, Facebook page), probably the most noted grower in Verneuil with 10 ha of vineyards in Verneuil, Vandières, Vincelles, and Dormans with 66% Pinot Meunier, 21% Pinot Noir, and 13% Chardonnay. The annual production is 75 000 bottles. Their blanc de blancs Champagne originates solely from the vineyard site La Goutte d’Or in Try (Dormans). The vintage Champagne is composed of 50% Chardonnay and 50% Pinot Noir (refers to the 2005 vintage). Polyphénols is a vintage Champagne of the same composition (refers to the 2006 vintage) where the Chardonnay component is sourced from Carrières in Verneuil and La Goutte d’Or, while the Pinot Noir originates from Les Carreaux in Verneuil. Cuvée Originelle (80% Pinot Noir, 20% Pinot Meunier) is produced from the first pressed/free-running must – “tête de cuvée” – and and is vinified in new barrels of Argonne oak.
- Cougnet-Weber (RC, Facebook page), has vineyards with 70% Pinot Meunier, 15% Chardonnay, and 15% Pinot Noir. The range includes a vintage Champagne produced from vines at least 30 years old. They vinify at Coopérative Saint Vincent but disgorge themselves.
- François Denizon (RC)
- Dondelinger-Brouckaert (both bottles with RC and RM can be found, don’t know which are more recent)
- Laurent Godard (RC, Facebook page), has 5 ha of vineyards in Verneuil with 3.5 ha Pinot Meunier, 1 ha Pinot Noir, and 0.5 ha Chardonnay.
- Alain Henry (RM), has 4 ha of vineyards.
- Gérard Henry (RM, Facebook page), has just under 5 ha of vineyards, mostly in Verneuil (and 0.5 ha in Trelou-sur-Marne), with a majority of Pinot Meunier. All their Chardonnay (0.5 ha) is in a vineyard site in Verneuil, La Ravinne.
- Philippe Henry (RC, Facebook page)
- Legouge-Copin (RC), who has 5 ha vineyards in Vandières with 80% Pinot Meunier, 15% Pinot Noir, and 5% Chardonnay. The range includes two vintage Champagnes: Inspirations composed of 50% Chardonnay, 45% Pinot Noir, and 5% Pinot Meunier (refers to the 2011 vintage), and A Fleur de Note which is a 100% Chardonnay.
- Gilbert Lheureux (RM)
- Nowack-Layour (RC, Facebook page), has vineyards mostly in Verneuil, but also in Troissy and Vandières.
- Franck Martin (RM)
- Jean-François Piot (RC)
- Paul Prioux (RC, Facebook page), also written Paul Prioux et ses Enfants and earlier P. Prioux.
- Jean-Marc Vatel (RM, Facebook page), whose range includes the vintage Champagne Cuvée Prestige composed of 40% Chardonnay, 40% Pinot Noir, and 20% Pinot Meunier (refers to the 2011 vintage).
Comment: the list is probably not complete.
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 Saint Vincent is a cooperative in Verneuil and it is one of the 82 cooperatives that are members of the major cooperative Centre Vinicole Champagne-Nicolas Feuillatte (CVC-NF), with its main facilities in Chouilly.
- Coopérative Vinicole l’Économe is a cooperative in Verneuil.
- Wikipedia about this village in English, in French.
- (The Verneuil commune doesn’t have a website.)
- UMC’s village profile of Verneuil.
- Vineyard map of Verneuil at weinlagen-info.de.
- Article in The Drinks Business (Feb 2017) about Lanson’s holdings i Verneuil.
- The Swedish version of this post.
© Tomas Eriksson 2015-2018, last update 2018-07-11