Champagne village profile: Villers-Franqueux in the Massif de Saint-Thierry

Diagram Villers-Franqueux 201509Key facts

Located in subregion/area: Montagne & Val de Reims / Massif de Saint-Thierry
Vineyards and grape varieties: 13.9 hectares (34.3 acres), of which 83% Pinot Meunier, 9% Chardonnay, and 8% Pinot Noir.
Classification: “Autre cru” (84%)

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, orange is built-up areas, and green indicates forest.


Google Maps view with the villages in the Massif de Saint-Thierry shown.

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

Neighbouring villages

Southeast: Thil
South: Pouillon
West and north: Hermonville
Comment: some of the communes to the east on the map are not part of the Champagne appellation and therefore don’t have any village profiles.

The town hall (mairie) in Villers-Franqueux. Picture linked from Wikimedia Commons (photo Garitan, 2012).

The village

Villers-Franqueux is located in the northwestern part of the Champagne region, just northwest of Reims.

The Villers-Franqueux commune covers 329 hectares and has 298 inhabitants (as of 2016), referred to as Francs-Villageois.

Vineyards

The vineyards in Villers-Franqueux are located to the southwest of the village, and are continuous with those in Pouillon. The vineyards are located on almost flat land, with very mild slopes. Pinot Meunier is the dominant grape variety, by a wide margin.

The current vineyard surface in the Villers-Franqueux commune is 13.9 hectares (34.3 acres). There are 11.5 ha Pinot Meunier (82.7%), 1.3 ha Chardonnay (9.4%), and 1.1 ha Pinot Noir (7.9%). Current information from CIVC as of 2019, refers to the situation a few years earlier. In 1997, the vineyard surface was 13 ha. There are 8 vineyard owners (exploitants) in the commune.

Single vineyard sites

Single vineyard sites in Cauroy-lès-Hermonville include, among others:

  • Le Clos Gillon, a rather flat site a close to the village, to the southeast.

Champagne producers

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.

  • Rosiez-Hyvernaud (RC), with the company name Rosiez.

Comment: The list may be incomplete.

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 Les Six Coteaux, a cooperative founded in 1951 in Pouillon that today has over 130 members with about 154 ha of vineyards. The members are primarily located in Pouillon, Villers-Franqueux, Thil, Saint-Thierry, Merfy, and Brimont. The original plant is located in Pouillon, where the grapes are pressed and vinification takes place. Since 2006, they also have a facility in Villers-Franqueux, just south of the actual villages along the D330 road, for cellaring, disgorgement and expedition of bottles. Since late 2014, sales to visitors also takes place here. The Champagnes are sold under the brand:
    • Charles Heston (Facebook page). The name refers to the music and dance style Charleston, and should remind us of the happy 1920s (rather than of Charlton Heston). The French pronunciation of “Charles Heston” comes closer to that of “Charleston” than what is the case in English. The vintage Champagne consists of a majority of Chardonnay (2008: the rest Pinot Noir; 2013: 70% Chardonnay, 26% Pinot Meunier, 4% Pinot Noir, 22% of the wine vinified in oak). Charles Heston produces three different Ratafia (fortified sweet wine) of which one 100% Chardonnay and one 100% Pinot Noir. It is less common to see the grape variety indicated for a Ratafia.

The church in Villers-Franqueux. Picture linked from Wikimedia Commons (photo Garitan, 2012).

Video clips

Below a video from the harvest of red grapes (Pinot Meunier?) in a vineyard in Villers-Franqueux on September 9, 2014, in French without subtitles:

Links

© Tomas Eriksson 2015-2019, last update 2019-04-14

Advertisements
This entry was posted in Champagne villages and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s