Grande Montagne de Reims

Diagram Grande Montagne de Reims 201503Key facts

Located in: Montagne & Val de Reims
Vineyards and grape varieties: 4155 hectares (10404.4 acres), of which 56.2% Pinot Noir, 29.6% Chardonnay, and 13.8% Pinot Meunier.
Villages and classification: 
25 villages, of which 10 grand cru (Ambonnay, Beaumont-sur-Vesle, Bouzy, Louvois, Mailly-Champagne, Puisieulx, Sillery, Tours-sur-Marne, Verzenay och Verzy), 13 premier cru, and 2 “autre cru”.
Noted for: good Pinot Noir, powerful from the southern part and nuanced from the northern part, but also good Chardonnay from the eastern and northern part.

Villages in the Grande Montagne de Reims

  • Northern part: 1132.8 ha (21.5% Ch / 45.8% PM / 32.6% PN)
    • Chigny-les-Roses: 131.9 ha (18% Ch / 58% PM / 24% PN), premier cru (94%)
    • Cormontreuil: 5.4 ha (50% Ch / 0% PM / 50% PN), premier cru (94%)
    • Ludes: 318.5 ha (17% Ch / 52% PM / 31% PN), premier cru (94%)
    • Montbré: 42.3 ha (12% Ch / 40% PM / 48% PN), premier cru (94%)
    • Rilly-la-Montagne: 315.1 ha (24% Ch / 37% PM / 39% PN), premier cru (94%)
    • Taissy: 145.9 ha (38% Ch / 36% PM / 26% PN), premier cru (94%)
    • Trois-Puits: 40.1 ha (9% Ch / 59% PM / 32% PN), premier cru (94%)
    • Villers-Allerand: 132.3 ha (18% Ch / 52% PM / 30% PN), premier cru (90%)
  • Northeastern part: 1396,5 ha (20.8% Ch / 5.6% PM / 73.4% PN)
    • Beaumont-sur-Vesle: 28.2 ha (15% Ch / 1% PM / 84% PN), grand cru (100%)
    • Mailly-Champagne: 285.9 ha (9% Ch / 3% PM / 88% PN), grand cru (100%)
    • Puisieulx: 18.8 ha (32% Ch / 14% PM / 53% PN), grand cru (100%)
    • Sillery: 91.9 ha (57% Ch / 9% PM / 33% PN), grand cru (100%)
    • Verzenay: 418 ha (14% Ch / 1% PM / 86% PN), grand cru (100%)
    • Verzy: 407.8 ha (22% Ch / 1% PM / 77% PN), grand cru (100%)
  • Eastern/southeastern part, “Perle blanche”: 622.5 ha (90.5% Ch / 0% PM / 9.5% PN)
    • Billy-le-Grand: 64 ha (65% Ch / 0% PM / 35% PN), premier cru (95%)
    • Trépail: 277 ha (90% Ch / 0% PM / 9% PN), premier cru (95%)
    • Vaudemange: 35.1 ha (83% Ch / 0% PM / 17% PN), premier cru (95%)
    • Villers-Marmery: 246.4 ha (98% Ch / 0% PM / 2% PN), premier cru (95%)
  • Southern part: 1149.1 ha (16.5% Ch / 2.3% PM / 80.1% PN)
    • Ambonnay: 385.3 ha (19% Ch / 0% PM / 81% PN), grand cru (100%)
    • Bouzy: 377.8 ha (12% Ch / 0% PM / 87% PN), grand cru (100%)
    • Fontaine-sur-Aÿ: 10.1 ha (30% Ch / 1% PM / 69% PN), “autre cru” (80%)
    • Germaine: 26.3 ha (3% Ch / 96% PM / 1% PN), “autre cru” (80%)
    • Louvois: 41.1 ha (18% Ch / 0% PM / 82% PN), grand cru (100%)
    • Tauxières-Mutry: 237.2 ha (16% Ch / 5% PM / 79% PN), premier cru (99%)
    • Tours-sur-Marne: 52.9 ha (28% Ch / 0% PM / 72% PN), grand cru (100%)

Map


Google Maps view with the villages in the Grande Montagne de Reims highlighted. The grand cru villages are in green, the premier cru villages are in yellow, and the autre cru villages in orange. The Perle blanche are is shown as a light green box.

A neat sketch of the Grande Montagne de Reims where also the topography can also be seen. The orange-coloured areas represent the vineyards. North is to the right in the picture, the northeastern part can be found below at the right, the eastern/southeastern part below to the left, and the southern part up to the left. The picture belongs to the Union des Maisons de Champagne, and is linked from their webpage describing the Grande Vallée de la Marne.

Neighbouring areas

West/westnorthwest: Vesle et Ardre
North/northeast: Monts de Berru
West/westsouthwest: Grande Vallée de la Marne
South (opposite side of the Marne): Côte des Blancs

Four parts with different grape varietal mix and classification

Since the Grande Montagne de Reims area stretches slightly more than half a turn around the Montage de Reims hill, the growing conditions differ somewhat between the various villages. The differences in the proportion of grape varieties and style become more clear if the Grande Montagne de Reims is divided into four parts:

  • Northern part, eight villages (including some of the southern suburbs of Reims), all of them premier cru. Pinot Meunier is the most common grape variety, with Pinot Noir behind.
  • Northeastern part, six grand cru villages. Pinot Noir is the most common grape variety, and here it produces somewhat less powerful wines than on the south side, but with great elegance.
  • Eastern/southeastern part, four premier cru villages sometimes referred to as the Perle blanche, the white pearl. Chardonnay dominates greatly.
  • Southern part, seven villages, of which four grand cru and one premier cru. Pinot Noir is the most common grape variety, and produces powerful wines here.

This division into parts is not official, and only Perle blanche is a commonly used designation.

The border between the Grande Montagne de Reims and the rest of the Montagne de Reims

I use the scheme from Union de Maisons de Champagne (UMC), since this is the only one I’ve found that really does include all 319 villages of the Champagne appellation and places them each in one of 17 areas, of which the Grande Montagne de Reims is one, that are in turn group into four subregions of the Champagne region.

It is the lesser-known Champagne villages to the west, northwest and northeast of Reims that complicate things. Many overview maps of Champagne and simplified divisions of the region don’t even include these villages.

In the UMC scheme, a border has been drawn exactly south of Reims, along the D951 road, between on one hand Villers-Allerand and Montbré (that are part of the Grande Montagne de Reims), and on the other hand Sermiers and Villers-aux-Nœuds, that are counted as part of the Vesle & Ardre area. In my opinion, this division is somewhat arbitrary, since there are also good premier cru villages that clearly are located on the Montagne de Reims slope to the southwest of Reims.

This means that there is a fifth part of the Montagne de Reims that isn’t considered a part of the Grande Montage de Reims area by the UMC, but that still deserves a mention here. It is the continuation of the northern side of the slope, further to the west of the D951 road. As seen from Reims, these villages are located due south or southwest. The UMC counts these villages as part of the Vesle & Ardre area, that has been named after the two small rivers that run south and northwest of the Montagne de Reims slope. Of the 52 villages in this area, 14 are located on the northwestern Montagne de Reims, or below the slope between the Montage de Reims and Reims itself. This means that the location of these villages are mostly similar to that of the villages in the northern part. Using the same format as for the four parts mentioned above we have:

  • Northwestern part, 14 villages, of which 12 premier cru. Pinot Meunier is the most common grape variety. The vineyard surface is 1310.8 ha (14.6% Ch / 51.5% PM / 33.7% PN)
Montagne de Reims sedd från luftballong.

The north side of the Montagne de Reims seen from an air balloon. The flatland below the slope is in the foreground and the vineyards of the main Champagne villages of this area are located as a strip in the background, just below the forested hill(top). The villages along the slope are, from the left, Mailly-Champagne, Ludes, Chigny-les-Roses (approximately in the middle), Rilly-la-Montagne, and Villers-Allerand (not quite as clearly visible as the other). The village at the right-hand edge is Montbré, and next to this village is a railroad track that passes Rilly-la-Montagne (where there also is a railroad station). The bend in the road in the foreground to the right is on the D9 road in the Trois-Puits commune, and the main part of this village is located just outside the picture to the right. The air balloon should have been somewhere over Cormontreuil, or thereabouts, when the picture was taken. Photo från Flickr, taken in June 2013 and uploaded by CpaKmoi under the license CC BY-NC-ND 2.0 (some rights reserved).

Vineyards

Current vineyard surface in the Grande Montagne de Reims (as of 2013 according to CIVC) is 4210.5 ha (10404.4 acres), distributed over 2131 vineyard owners (exploitants) in the 26 villages. There are 2350.5 ha (5808.3 acres) Pinot Noir, or 55.2%, 1253 ha (3096.2 acres) Chardonnay, or 29.3%, and 590.4 ha (1458.9 acres) Pinot Meunier, or 14.8%.

These numbers exclude the northwestern part, as it is not part of the Grande Montagne de Reims.

Parts of the north and northeastern side of the Montagne de Reims. Verzenay is located at the left-hand edge, in the middle we find Mailly-Champagne, and at the right-hand edge we find Ludes. The picture is taken from the side of the D9 road and is linked from Wikimedia Commons (photo Garitan, 2012).

Links

© Tomas Eriksson 2014-2015, last updated 2015-11-14

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