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

Diagram Verneuil 201505Key facts

Located in: Vallée de la Marne: Vallée de la Marne Rive Droite
Vineyards and grape varieties: 356.1 hectares (879.9 acres), of which 74% Pinot Meunier, 17% Pinot Noir, and 9% Chardonnay.
Classification: “Autre cru” (86%)

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, orange is built-up areas, and green indicates forest. The dashed red line in the left-hand part of the map is the departmental border between Marne (where Verneuil is located) and Aisne.

Neighbouring villages

On the right bank of the Marne
East: Vandières
North: Passy-Grigny
Northwest: Champvoisy
West: Vincelles

On the left bank of the Marne
Southeast: Troissy (part of the Vallée de la Marne Rive Gauche)
Southwest: Dormans (part of the Vallée de la Marne Rive Gauche)

The town hall (mairie) of Verneuil. Picture linked from Wikimedia Commons (photo HB 2010).

The village

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 844 inhabitants (as of 2012), referred to as verneuillats and verneuillates.

View of Verneuil from the other side of the Marne river, with the village in the upper right hand of the picture. In the background to the left, the vineyards to the west of the village are visible, those in the direction of Vincelles. The vineyards in the foreground are located in Dormans. Picture linked form Wikimedia Commons (photo Pline, 2012).

Vineyards

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 356.1 hectares (879.9 acres). There are 262.7 ha Pinot Meunier (73.8%), 61.9 ha Pinot Noir (17.4%), and 31.4 ha Chardonnay (8.8%). Numbers from CIVC, as of 2013. In 1997, the vineyard surface was 336 ha. There are 103 vineyard owners (exploitants) in the commune.

Champagne houses that control vineyards in the village include Joseph Perrier.

Single vineyard sites

Vineyard sites in Verneuil include Le Beauchet, Bouillon Fontaine, Les Carreaux, Le Haut de la Malmaison, Les Quatrièmes, La Ravinne, La Roche, and Les Vignes du Clos.

Champagne producers

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

  • Joseph Perrier (NM) s 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), has 60% Chardonnay in their vineyards. The Champagnes are produced by the Centre Vinicole in Chouilly, i.e., the cooperative behind Nicolas Feuillatte.

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.

  • Bouby-Legouge (RC)
  • Brismontier-Huet
  • Didier Cailliez (RC), has a majority of Pinot Meunier in their vineyards.
  • Caillot-Thibault (RC)
  • Jacques Copin (RM), 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. Cuvée Originelle (80% Pinot Noir, 20% Chardonnay) is produced from the first pressed/free-running must – “tête de cuvée” – and sees oak.
  • Cougnet-Weber (RC)
  • François Denizon (RC)
  • Dondelinger-Brouckaert (both bottles with RC and RM can be found, don’t know which are more recent)
  • Laurent Godard (RC), 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), 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 called La Ravinne.
  • Philippe Henry (RC)
  • Legouge-Copin (RC)
  • Gilbert Lheureux (RM)
  • Nowack-Layour (RC), 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 P. Prioux.
  • Jean-Marc Vatel (RM)

Comment: the list is probably not complete.

Cooperatives

  • 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.

Links

© Tomas Eriksson 2015, last update 2015-07-04

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