Château-Thierry – the central town in the Western Marne Valley

Key facts

Located in subregion / area: Vallée de la Marne / Vallée de la Marne Ouest
Vineyards and grape varieties: 43.9 hectares (108.5 acres), of which 61% Pinot Meunier, 24% Pinot Noir, and 15% Chardonnay.
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.


Google Maps view with the villages in the Vallée de la Marne Ouest highlighted, as well as some surrounding villages in white.

Clicking on a village opens a field to the left with a link to the village profile, if there is one.

Neighbouring villages

On the right bank of Marne
East: Brasles
Southwest: Essômes-sur-Marne

On the left bank of Marne
Southeast: Chierry
Southsoutheast: Étampes-sur-Marne
South: Nogentel
Comment: several of the villages to the north are not included in the list above, since they are outside the appellation and therefore will not be profiled.

Château-Thierry at the Marne river. Picture linked from Wikimedia Commons (photo François Goglins, 2015).

The town

Château-Thierry is mostly situated on the right bank of the Marne river, which means north of the river. Château-Thierry is the central town of the western Marne Valley, and it is the largest town directly at Marne between Meaux to the west and Épernay to the east.

The Château-Thierry commune covers 1655 hectares and has 14 847 inhabitants (as of 2016) referred to as Castelthéodoriciens and Castelthéodoriciennes, aalternatively Castrothéodoriciens and Castrothéodoriciennes. The continuous built-up area has 21 421 inhabitants (as of 2014), including some neighbouring communes.

The largest church in Château-Thierry, Église Saint-Crépin. Picture linked from Wikimedia Commons (photo François Goglins, 2015).

Vineyards

The vineyards in Château-Thierry are in part located in the southwestern part of the commune, on the border to Essômes-sur-Marne, and in part located to the northwest of the town itself. The vineyards are mostly made up of mild southwest- to southeast-facing slopes with Pinot Meunier as the most common grape variety.

The current vineyard surface in the Château-Thierry commune is 43.9 hectares (108.5 acres). There are 26.9 ha Pinot Meunier (61.3%), 10.5 ha Pinot Noir (23.9%), and 6.5 ha Chardonnay (14.8%). Current information from CIVC as of 2018, refers to the situation a few years earlier. In 1997, the vineyard surface was 34 ha. There are 55 vineyard owners (exploitants) in the commune.

Aerial picture of Château-Thierry with surroundings. The right edge of the picture is approximately on the border between Blesmes and Gland. The lower left corner is in the hamlet Aulnoy in the southern part of Essômes-sur-Marne. North is up in the picture. The picture is linked from Wikimedia Commons (photo Pymouss, 2018).

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.

  • Didier Mirault, whose range includes a vintage Champagne composed of 1/3 each of Chardonnay, Pinot Meunier, and Pinot Noir (refer to the 2009 vintage).
  • Lété-Vautrain (RM, Facebook page), which has 8 ha of vineyards in Château-Thierry, Essômes-sur-Marne, and Leuvrigny. The vintage Champagnes is composed of 40% Pinot Meunier, 40% Chardonnay, and 20% Pinot Noir (refers to the 2010 vintage). Since 2011, the producer is owned by Baron-Fuenté in Charly-sur-Marne.

Comment: the list may be incomplete.

The cellar of Pannier in Château-Thierry. Picture linked from Wikimedia Commons (photo Desroches, 2018).

Cooperatives

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 de la Vallée de la Marne, usually COVAMA for short, is a major cooperative in Château-Thierry founded in 1963. COVAMA has 450 member with over 650 ha of vineyards. They have their own brand Pannier (see below) and are also behind Jacquart and Montaudon in Reims, which they run in collaboration with the cooperatives COGEVI in Aÿ (with their own brand Collet) and l’Union Auboise in Bar-sur-Seine (with their own brand Devaux) in the form of the company Alliance Champagne Jacquart – Union de Coopérative de la Champagne (UCC).
    History
    The cooperative was founded in 1963 under the name Coopérative Vinicole de Champagnisation des Coteaux du Val du Marne, initially with seven members and 12 ha of vineyards. They rented space in empty cellars at the Champagne house Pannier, to use for their own production. In 1966 they invested in additional equipment for the cellar, and in 1971 the Pannier facilities and brand was bought. In 1979, they had reached a production volume of 1.4 million bottles filled annually. In 1988, they decided to accept members from all of Champagne as well as to have other cooperatives as members. In 1995, the members had 470 ha of vineyards and the production volume was 4 million bottles filled annually. In 1996, they had reached 550 ha. In 1998, Pannier was transferred to a company of its own, SA Pannier, which is a subsidiary of the cooperative. The same year, they created Alliance Champagne together with COGEVI and Union Auboise. Some months later, Jacquart was bought by Alliance Champagne.

    • Pannier, the main brand for COVAMA’s own Champagnes. It is worth noting that the composition of the Pannier Champagnes isn’t fully representative of the western Marne Valley, since they are mostly based on Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, and don’t contain more Pinot Meunier than Champagnes that are sourced from the entire Champagne region. The non-vintage Brut Sélection is composed of 40% Chardonnay, 30% Pinot Meunier, and 30% Pinot Noir. The range includes four vintage Champagnes: Vintage with 40% Pinot Noir, 38% Chardonnay, and 22% Pinot Meunier (refers to the 2012 vintage), Blanc de Noirs Cuvée Louis Eugène composed of 98% Pinot Noir (from grand cru villages) and 2% Pinot Meunier (refers to the 2012 vintage), Blanc de Blancs using Chardonnay from grand cru and premier cru villages, and Égerie which is composed of 51% Chardonnay and 49% Pinot, mostly Pinot Noir but also a small amount of Pinot Meunier (refers to the 2006 vintage).
      History
      The house Pannier was founded in 1899 by Louis-Eugène Pannier in Dizy, but later moved to Château-Thierry. In 1971 they were bought by COVAMA.

The town hall (Hôtel de Ville) in Château-Thierry. Picture linked from Wikimedia Commons (photo François Goglins, 2012).

Links

© Tomas Eriksson 2019, last update 2019-01-12

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