Champagne village profile: Bligny in the Bar-sur-Aubois

Diagram Bligny (Aube) 201608Key facts

Located in subregion/area: Côte des Bar / Bar-sur-Aubois
Vineyards and grape varieties: 155.0 hectares (383.0 acres), of which 82% Pinot Noir, 15% Chardonnay, 2.6% Pinot Meunier, and 0.6% others.
Classification: ”Autre cru” (80%)
Risk of confusion: other than this village, in the Aube departement, there is a Champagne village named Bligny in the Vesle et Ardre area, on top of the Montagne de Reims, in the Marne departement. Bligny in Aube, this village, is with a wide margin the largest of the two in terms of vineyard area.

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 Bar-sur-Aubois highlighted.

Clicking on a village opens a field to the left with a link to the village profile, if it exists.

Neighbouring villages within the Champagne appellation

North: Meurville
Northeast: Bergères
East: Urville
Southeast: Champignol-lez-Mondeville
Southwest: Vitry-le-Croisé (located in the Barséquanais)

The village

The church in Bligny, Église Saint-Symphorien. Picture linked from Wikimedia Commons (photo Gérard Janot, 2009).

Bligny is located at Le Landion, a river that empties into the Aube river at Dolancourt.

The Bligny commune covers 2274 hectares and has 185 inhabitants (as of 2013) referred to as Ebraugnais and Ebraugnaises.

Château de Bligny is located in the village, at the entry from the northwest. The current château was built in 1773 by Marquis de Dampierre on the ruins of a medieval castle. It is today owned by the Rapeneau family, also the owner of the Champagne houses G.H. Martel and de Cazanove. It is opened for guided visits since 1999.

Vineyards

The vineyards in Bligny can be found in several parts of the commune. Two blocks are located just north of the village and consists of south- and southeast-facing slopes. Other vineyards are found in the southwestern part of the village as well as in the southeastern part, where they are located around the same hill as those in southwestern Champignol-lez-Mondeville. Pinot Noir dominates greatly.

The current vineyard surface in the Bligny commune is 155.0 hectares (383.0 acres). There are 127.0 ha Pinot Noir (81.9%), 23.0 ha Chardonnay (14.8%), 4.0 ha Pinot Meunier (2.6%), and 1.0 ha others (0.6%), which is likely to include Pinot Blanc. Numbers from CIVC, as of 2013. In 1997, the vineyard surface was 139 ha. There are 28 vineyard owners (exploitants) in the commune.

Single vineyard sites

Single vineyard sites in Bligny include the following, among others:

  • Beauregard is a mild southeast-facing slope in the southwestern part of the commune.
  • Bernardin is a mild east-facing slope in the southwestern part of the comune. Château de Bligny has a holding here.
  • Clos du Château de Bligny is a wall-enclosed vineyard site of 0.80 ha (2.0 acres) in direct connection to the château garden, on the northern side. The site is located within the lieu-dit Entre les Garennes, which also includes the château, i.e., the close name is not found in the property register. Château de Bligny produces a vineyard-designated cuvée of six grape varieties (Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Pinot Meunier, Petit Meslier, Arbane och Pinot Blanc) from this site.
  • Val l’Ermite is a southeast-facing site in the southern part of the commune, on the border to Champignol-lez-Mondeville. Château de Bligny has a holding here.

Champagne producers

Champagne house/négociant

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.

  • Demilly de Baere (NM). Cuvée Rare is a non-vintage cuvée of Chardonnay and Pinot Blanc from old vines. The top Champagne of the range, Cuvée Pure, is a cuvée of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay that exists both as a vintage Champagne (e.g. 2005) and non-vintage. Also sells Champagnes under the brand:
    • Madame de Sainte Maure

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.

  • Thierry Binon (RM)
  • Château de Bligny (RM), which is found in the building of the same name and which has just over 20 ha of vineyards. The owner is the Rapeneau family, also the owners of the Champagne houses G.H. Martel and de Cazanove, but Château de Bligny is run separately. The range includes a Blanc de Blancs Millésime which is a 100% Chardonnay. At least earlier there has been a vintage Champagne named Cœur de Cuvée which was composed of 60% Chardonnay and 40% Pinot Noir (refers to the 1996 vintage). Clos du Château de Bligny Cuvée 6 Cépages is composed of 1/6 each of Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Pinot Meunier, Petit Meslier, Arbane, and Pinot Blanc from the vineyard of this name, from 0.80 ha (2.0 acres) they produce about 7000 bottles.
    History
    The wine production of Château de Bligny was started in the early 19th century by the Baron de Cachard, who also bought the vineyards which had belonged to the Prieuré de Sainte Eulalie in the village. In 1930, the vineyard holdings was 44 ha. After World War II, the property was bought by M. Lefèvre of Tours, who wished to supplement his production of sparkling Loire wines with his own Champagne. This was not a successful move, and the property was divided up and sold in several lots. In 1952, the Lorin family bought several of the vineyard plots and initiated replantation in 1954. The château and property was bought by the Rapeneau family in 1999, and opened for visits after this.

    Below a video showing the château and surrounding vineyards, as well as markets one of the Champagnes of this producer.

  • Gauthrin-Ferron, whose range includes a vintage Champagne. The company name is Gauthrin-Laurent. There are also rather new bottles produced by Nicolo in Arsonval with the producer code ND (négociant-disitributeur).
  • Y. Laval (RM), a member of Vignerons Indépendants with 12 ha of continuous vineyards with 70% Pinot Noir and 30% Chardonnay.
  • Michel Lorin (RC)
  • Moutaux (RM, Facebook page), a member of Vignerons Indépendants and Terra Vitis (since 2010). Has 12.5 ha of vineyards in Bligny, Urville, and Meurville, with 70% Pinot Noir and 30% Chardonnay. The top Champagne is called Cuvée Val de Beauregard and is composed of half each of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir.

Comment: the list may be incomplete.

Links

© Tomas Eriksson 2016, last update 2016-08-28

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