The Terroir is the essence of champagne

Champagne is produced, harvested and blended exclusively in the French Champagne region, so defined by its specific soil and subsoil.

The Champagne AOC (Appellation d'Origine Contôlée) covers 33,000 hectares planted across 320 villages.
The specific circumstances of each village (soil, subsoil, microclimate, exposure) led to the development, at the beginning of the last century (1911), of a scale of vintages. A percentage between 80 and 100 % was attributed to each of these villages, based on the quality of the grapes produced there.

The 44 villages classified between 90 and 99 % are known as "Premier Cru". Villages classified as 100 % are known as "Grand Cru" - there are only 17 of them - and they produce the finest grapes in the Champagne region.



planOur grape is the Chardonnay


5 km south of Epernay lies the renowned "Côte des Blancs",
with its five Grand Cru villages in a row: Chouilly, Cramant, Avize, Oger and Le Mesnil sur Oger.

The subsoil is composed entirely of belemnite chalk (cuttlefish fossil deposits, the Rolls Royce of the chalk soils of Champagne) of impressive depth on the hillside (up to 10 metres).
The only grape variety produced here is the white Chardonnay, hence the term "Blanc de Blancs" (Champagne from white grapes) which appears on the labels of the bottles produced in these prestigious villages.

Avize Grand Cru

The Avize terroir is not large: barely 262 hectares of Chardonnay grapes.
The neighbouring villages of Avize and Cramant, the original Grands Crus, represent the historical heart of the Côte des Blancs
The Chardonnay grape was introduced to these two villages in the fledgling years of Champagne production, appreciated for the bubbles it generated during fermentation.
All the surrounding villages soon followed suit, when the wine growers from this distant time realised that the terroir was perfect for this grape variety, producing fine and elegant wines.

The VARNIER-FANNIERE vineyard in Avize was founded in 1860 by my grandfather's grandfather.
It is an honour for me to continue growing grapes in this terroir, after five generations.



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