Sézannais

Key facts

Located in the subregion: Côte des Blancs
Vineyards and grape varieties: 1479.0 hectares (3654.7 acres), of which 76.8% Chardonnay, 18.0% Pinot Noir, 4.7% Pinot Meunier, and 0.5% others.
Villages and classification: 12 villages, all ”autre cru”.
Also called: Côte de Sézanne
Noted for: Chardonnay in a slightly more “tropical” style.

Villages in the Sézannais

  • Allemant: 65.3 ha (59% Ch / 7% PM / 34% PN / 0% others), autre cru (87%)
  • Barbonne-Fayel: 265.2 ha (70% Ch / 1% PM / 29% PN / 0% others), autre cru (87%)
  • Bethon: 195.0 ha (92% Ch / 0% PM / 4% PN / 4% others), autre cru (87%)
  • Broyes: 140.3 ha (63% Ch / 15% PM / 22% PN / 0% others), autre cru (87%)
  • Chantemerle: 32.7 ha (92% Ch / 0% PM / 8% PN / 0% others), autre cru (87%)
  • Fontaine-Denis-Nuisy: 120.7 ha (67% Ch / 1% PM / 32% PN / 0% others), autre cru (87%)
  • La Celle-sous-Chantemerle: 89.0 ha (80% Ch / 0% PM / 20% PN / 0% others), autre cru (87%)
  • Montgenost: 108.7 ha (94% Ch / 1% PM / 5% PN / 0% others), autre cru (87%)
  • Saudoy: 78.3 ha (94% Ch / 0% PM / 6% PN / 0% others), autre cru (87%)
  • Sézanne: 206.1 ha (66% Ch / 18% PM / 15% PN / 0% others), autre cru (87%)
  • Villenauxe-la-Grande: 102.0 ha (82% Ch / 0% PM / 18% PN / 0% others), autre cru (87%)
  • Vindey: 75,7 ha (84% Ch / 1% PM / 15% PN / 0% others), autre cru (87%)

Map


Google Maps view with the villages in the Sézannais highlighted.

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

Neighbouring areas

North: Val du Petit Morin

Description

Sézannais is the area around the town of Sézanne, which is located in the southern part of the Marne department.

The vineyards stretch from Allemant in the north to Villenauxe-la-Grande in the south, over a distance of about 30 km (19 miles). The vineyards are reasonably continuous, but with some gaps, and south- to southeast-facing slopes dominate. The northern part of Sézannais border to the Val du Petit Morin area.

Most of Sézannais is located in the Marne department. The exception is the southernmost village of the area, Villenauxe-la-Grande, which is located in the Aube departement.

The soil is heterogenous and is variably made up of limestone, marl, sand, and clay. The subsoil is made up of chalk, but it is not found on the surface as in the Côte des Blancs area.

In the scheme used by the Union de Maisons de Champagne (UMC), Sézannais is one of 17 areas (“terroirs”) that the Champagne wine region is divided into. These 17 areas are then grouped into four subregions, one of which is also Côte des Blancs. It may be somewhat confusing that there also is an area called Côte des Blancs (i.e., the same name as the subregion), located to the northeast of Sézannais.

Sézannais is the name form used by UMC, but Côte de Sézanne is also commonly seen. In some non-UMC schemes, Val du Petit Morin (the area to the north) is also counted as part of the Côte de Sézannais.

The Champagne style of Sézannais

Chardonnay dominates clearly in Sézannais, so typical Champagnes from this area are blanc de blancs. This was also reflected in the now defunct échelle des crus scale (80%-100%), where the villages in Sézannais were rated 87% for white grapes and 85% for black grapes, i.e., were considered better for Chardonnay.

Blanc de blancs from Sézannais are usually described as more”tropical” and aromatic, with lower acidity, than those from the Côte des Blancs area, which is something of a reference style for blanc de blancs.

Plans for future expansion of the area

In the expansion proposed for the Champagne wine region/appellation with 40 new communes (on top of the current 319, while 2 are removed), 2 of the communes are located in this area: Péas and Saint-Loup. They are neighbours of Sézanne, Broyes, and Allemant.

Vineyards with Sézanne in the background. Picture linked from Wikimedia Commons (photo David Iliff, 2011).

Vineyards

The current vineyard surface in the Sézannais (as of 2013 according to CIVC) is 1479.0 hectares (3654.7 acres), distributed over 733 vineyard owners (exploitants) in the 12 villages. There are 1135.6 ha Chardonnay (76.8%), 266.2 ha Pinot Noir (18.0%), 69.6 ha Pinot Meunier (4.7%), and 7.6 ha others (0.5%).

All villages have more than 50% Chardonnay and six out of twelve villages have at least 80% Chardonnay. The proportion of Chardonnay is somewhat higher in the south than in the north, and it is the three northernmost communes which represent the lowest proportion (59%-66%).

Links

© Tomas Eriksson 2017, last updated 2017-05-14

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