Champagne village profile: Le Breuil on the left bank of the Marne valley

Diagram Le Breuil 201512Key facts

Located in: Vallée de la Marne: Vallée de la Marne Rive Gauche
Vineyards and grape varieties: 140.5 hectares (347.2 acres), of which 82% Pinot Meunier, 10% Pinot Noir, and 7% Chardonnay.
Classification: “Autre cru” (83%)
Noted for: home village of the Champagne house Pierre Mignon

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. The dashed red line in the left-hand part of the map is the departmental border between Marne (where Le Breuil is located) and Aisne.


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, if there is one.

Neighbouring villages

North: La Chapelle-Monthodon
Northeast: Igny-Comblizy

Southeast: La Ville-sous-Orbais
Northwest: Baulne-en-Brie
Comment: some of the villages to the southwest on the map are not part of the Champagne appellation and therefore don’t have any profiles.

The church in Le Breuil, Église Saint-Martin. Picture linked from Wikimedia Commons (photo G.Garitan, 2014).

The village

Le Breuil is located on the left bank of the Marne river, which means south of the river. The village is located at Le Surmelin, a river which flows through the southern part of the Terroir de Condé area, and then empties into the Marne River downstreams at Mézy-Moulins. The valley formed by Le Surmelin is called Vallée du Surmelin, and in Champagne terms it consists of the southern part of the two areas Vallée de la Marne Rive Gauche and Terroir de Condé.

The Le Breuil commune covers 1601 hectares and has 403 inhabitants (as of 2013), referred to as Breuillois and Breuilloises.

Le Surmelin at Le Breuil. Picture linked from Wikimedia Commons (photo G.Garitan, 2014).

Vineyards

The vineyards in Le Breuil are located north of the village, on the right bank of Le Surmelin. These vineyards are mostly located on southwest-facing slopes and are continuous with the vineyards in Baulne-en-Brie in the west. The vineyards are dominated by Pinot Meunier.

The current vineyard surface in the Le Breuil commune is 140.5 hectares (347.2 acres). There are 115.9 ha Pinot Meunier (82.5%), 14.4 ha Pinot Noir (10.2%), and 10.2 ha Chardonnay (7.3%). Numbers from CIVC, as of 2013. In 1997, the vineyard surface was 121 ha. There are 53 vineyard owners (exploitants) in the commune.

Champagne producers

Champagne houses, members of the Union des Maisons de Champagne

  • Pierre Mignon (NM), a Champagne house founded in its present shape in 1970. They specify themselves that they have 16 ha of vineyards in the Vallée de la Marne, Côte des Blancs, and the Épernay area with 60% Pinot Meunier, 30% Chardonnay, and 10% Pinot Noir. UMC says 44 ha, which should be the number including bought-in grapes, since it well matches the annual production of 450 000 bottles. The range includes several vintage Champagnes: Harmonie de Blancs is a blanc de blancs, Année de Madame is composed of 60% Chardonnay, 30% Pinot Meunier, and 10% Pinot Noir (refers to the 2006 vintage), and Année de Madame Rosé is composed of 55% Chardonnay, 30% Pinot Meunier, and 15% Pinot Noir (refers to the 2008 vintage). Several of their Champagnes are also released in specially decorated bottles, often with a not too discrete use of metallic paint and Swarowski crystals. Sometimes these bottles are given special names, where Cœur d’Or is the same as Année de Madame and Désir & Sens is a vintage blanc de blancs. The range also includes a red wine (a Coteaux Champenois) from Le Breuil from 100% Pinot Meunier.

Other Champagne houses

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.

  • Moutardier (NM), also Jean Moutardier, a Champagne house with 18 ha of their own vineyards, of which 14 ha Pinot Meunier. On top of that, grapes are bought from 12 ha in the area, for an annual production of 250 000 bottles. In total there are 80% Pinot Meunier, 10% Chardonnay, and 10% Pinot Meunier. The range includes a vintage Champagne composed of 80% Pinot Meunier and 20% Chardonnay (refers to the 2007 vintage). Their Pure Meunier is a non-vintage 100% Pinot Meunier which is Brut Nature, i.e., without dosage.

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.

  • Charpentier-Sertelet (RM)
  • Didier Dépit (RM)
  • Roger Dépit (RM), which has just under 11 ha of vineyards, of which 90% in Le Breuil and 10% in Baulne-en-Brie, with 80% Pinot Meunier, 10% Chardonnay, and 10% Pinot Noir. The latest addition to the range, Cuvée Originelle, is to 75% raised in oak barrels and produced as a varietal wine originating from a single vintage (but is formally non-vintage). It exists in Pinot Meunier and Chardonnay versions.
  • Stéphane Fir (RM; Facebook page)
  • Anne-Marie Mignon (RM), which has 3 ha of vineyards.
  • Philippe Mignon (RM), has about 6 ha of vineyards. Other than Pinot Meunier in the Vallée de la Marne, they also have Pinot Noir in the Montagne de Reims, and Chardonnay in the Côte des Blancs.
  • Sendron Destouches (RM), a producer founded in 1964 which has all their vineyards in Le Breuil. The range includes a vintage Champagne.
  • Maxime Toubart (RC), the range of which includes a vintage Champagne.
  • Tony Toubart (RC)
  • Jean-Luc Vincent (RC)

Comment: the list may not be complete.

Monument in Le Breuil over locals fallen in World War I. To the right, the church is visible and in the background the town hall and the school can be been. Picture linked from Wikimedia Commons (photo G.Garitan, 2014).

Links

© Tomas Eriksson 2016, last updated 2017-01-21

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