Champagne village profile: Val-des-Marais, a premier cru in the Côte des Blancs

Diagram Val-des-Marais 201510Key facts

Located in subregion/area: Côte des Blancs / Côte des Blancs
Vineyards and grape varieties: 29.7 hectares (73.4 acres), of which 100% Chardonnay.
Classification: Premier cru (90%), was formerly a premier cru for white grapes only and “autre cru” (87%) for black grapes.
Noted for: Chardonnay from premier cru-classified vineyards.
Also called: Coligny

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, green indicates forest, and blue/purple is water and wetland. Mont Aimé is the small forest area just south of the text “Bergeres”.

Neighbouring villages

Northnortheast: Bergerès-lès-Vertus, premier cru
Northwest: Vert-Toulon (part of the Val du Petit Morin)
Northnorthwest: Étréchy, premier cru (part of the Val du Petit Morin)
Comment: several of the communes on the map, in particular on the flatlands to the east, are not part of the Champagne appellation and therefore don’t have any village profiles.

The village

Val-des-Marais is located on the flatland south of the Côte des Blancs-hill, east of the Val du Petit Morin. The Petit Morin river that forms the Val du Petit Morin actually originates in the commune and has its course to the west.

Val-des-Marais is the southernmost commune counted as part of the Côte des Blancs area.

In 1977, four communes were merged to form Val-des-Marais: Aulnay-aux-Planches, Aulnizeux, Coligny, and Morains. Of these four, only Coligny had Champagne vineyards, and therefore Coligny or Val-des-Marais Coligny is still seen as the village name in connection with Champagne.

The forested hill Mont Aimé is located on the border between Val-des-Marais and Bergères-lès-Vertus, i.e., in the northeastern part of the commune. In the Medieval age there was a fortified castle on this hill.

The Val-des-Marais commune covers 3985 hectares and has 570 inhabitants (as of 2012).

The castle on the Mont Aimé hill as it is supposed to have looked in 1422, according to an etching by  Claude Chastillon (1559-1616) reproduced on a postcard from around 1910. Picture linked from Wikimedia Commons.

Vineyards

The vineyards in Val-des-Marais are located in the northeastern part of the commune, on the southern side of the Mont Aimé hill. (On the eastern side of the hill, there are vineyards located in the Bergères-lès-Vertus commune.) The vineyards exclusively contain Chardonnay plantations.

The current vineyard surface in the Val-des-Marais commune is 29.7 hectares (73.4 acres). There are 29.7 ha Chardonnay (100%) and no Pinot. Numbers from CIVC, as of 2013. In 1997, the vineyard surface was 30 ha. There are 17 vineyard owners (exploitants) in the commune.

Vineyards on the southeastern side of the Mont Aimé. The photo is taken from the D9 road, approximately on the commune border between Val-des-Marais (to the left) and Bergères-lès-Vertus (to the right). The vineyards closest to the forest are located on the Bergères-lès-Vertus side. Picture linked from Wikimedia Commons (photo Szeder László, 2007).

Formerly a premier cru for Chardonnay only

On the now defunct échelle des crus scale, where 100% = grand cru and 90-99% = premier cru, a smaller number of villages had different numbers for white and black grapes, i.e., for Chardonnay (white) and for Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier (black). Val-des-Marais (and before that Coligny) was one of them, with 90% for white grapes, i.e. premier cru, and 87% for black grapes, i.e., “autre cru”. Following the formal abolishment of the échelle des crus in 2010, the villages that achieved grand cru or premier cru status has kept this status. However, no difference is longer made between different grape varieties, so the highest status has been kept. This means that Val-des-Marais nowadays is a premier cru village with no restrictions as to grape varieties.

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.

  • Lucien Gibart (RC)

Comment: It is not certain that the list is complete.

Links

© Tomas Eriksson 2015, last update 2016-01-04

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 )

Twitter picture

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

Facebook photo

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

Google+ photo

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

Connecting to %s