Champagne village profile: Fontette in the Barséquanais

Diagram Fontette 201607Key facts

Located in subregion/area: Côte des Bar / Barséquanais
Vineyards and grape varieties: 177.4 hectares (438.4 acres), of which 88% Pinot Noir, 9% Chardonnay, 0.8% Pinot Meunier, and 2.0% others.
Classification: ”Autre cru” (80%)

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 lines are the departmental borders between Aube (where Fontette is located) and Haute-Marne (where Villars-en-Azois is located).


Google Maps view with the villages in the Barséquanais highlighted.

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

Neighbouring villages within the Champagne appellation

North: Saint-Usage
Southeast: Cunfin
Southwest: Verpillières-sur-Ource
West: Essoyes
Northwest: Noé-les-Mallets

Orten

Fontette is located in the southeastern part of the Aube department.

The Fontette commune covers 1936 hectares and has 187 inhabitants (as of 2013), referred to as Fontettois and Fontettoises.

Vineyards

The vineyards in Fontette are located in the western part of the commune. The vineyards are situated on slopes and low ridges as continuations of the vineyards in Essoyes. Pinot Noir dominates greatly.

The current vineyard surface in the Fontette commune is 177.4 hectares (438.4 acres). There are 156.4 ha Pinot Noir (88.2%), 15.9 ha Chardonnay (9.0%), 1.5 ha Pinot Meunier (0.8%), and 3.6 ha others (2.0%), most of which is likely to be Pinot Blanc. Numbers from CIVC, as of 2013. In 1997, the vineyard surface was 153 ha. In 1882, before Phylloxera struck, the surface was 140 ha. (In many other villages the cultivated vineyard surface is smaller today than in pre-Phylloxera times, see Neuville-sur-Seine.)  There are today 73 vineyard owners (exploitants) in the commune.

Champagne producers

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.

  • Lhuillier (NM), has just over 20 ha of vineyards. The annual production is about 250 000-300 000 bottles. Older bottles has an RM producer code. Lhuillier has a museum with older winemaking equipment.
  • Cristian Senez (NM), has about 30 ha of their own vineyards and has an annual production of 500 000 bottles. The regular vintage Champagne Brut Millésime is composed of 75% Chardonnay and 25% Pinot Noir, and Brut Millésime Grande Réserve is composed of 75% Pinot Noir and 25% Chardonnay. The vintage rosé is composed of 80% Pinot Noir and 20% Chardonnay. Among the vintage Champagnes, many larger format bottles and some older vintages are usually available. The range includes two still red Coteaux Champenois, one of which is called Réserve.

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.

  • Paul Josselin (RC)
  • Lautrey-Jolly (RC)
  • Ludinard-Robert (RC)
  • Jacques Ribault (RC)
  • Robert-Celle (RC)

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 de Fontette is a cooperative founded in 1952 with just over 140 members with almost 330 ha of vineyards with 92% Pinot Noir and 8% Chardonnay. (In 1977, numbers were just under 100 members and 280 ha.) Must and base wine corresponding to 140 ha of vineyards is sold to the large houses. About 850 000 bottles are delivered annually to the major cooperatives Union Auboise (in Bar-sur-Seine) and Alliance Champagne (in Reims, with the brand Jacquart). The production facility in Fontette was supplemented in 2009 with a new facility in the neigbouring village Essoyes. Since 1993, the cooperative’s own Champagnes are sold under the brand:
    • Charles Collin, which was named for the founder of the cooperative. The annual production under this brand is about 100 000 bottles. On the non-vintage side the Champagnes of the regular Charles Collin range are Pinot Noir-dominated, while those called Cuvée Charles are Chardonnay-dominated. The vintage version of Charles Collin is composed of 50% Chardonnay and 50% Pinot Noir (refers to the 2002 vintage), while the vintage Cuvée Charles has varied: 100% Chardonnay in the 2002 vintage and 95% Ch/5% PN in the 2007 vintage. La Belle Gabrielle is a partly (10-15%) oak barrel-vinified cuvée composed of 80% Chardonnay and 20% Pinot Noir.

Video clips

This video primarily shows a combine harvester on the crop fields close to the village, but (particularly in the beginning) also includes images of the vineyards in Fontette and the local landscape in general.

Links

© Tomas Eriksson 2016, last update 2016-08-08

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