Grape varieties used in Champagne
“ There are three main grape varieties used to produce champagne: pinot noir, pinot meunier (black grapes) and chardonnay (white grape). These have been selected due to their adaptability to the climate in Champagne, and each brings a unique characteristic to the champagne blend. ”
- Pinot Noir (38% of vineyard plantings) adds structure and body to the blend, as well as red fruit aromas. It is the predominant grape variety in the Montagne de Reims and the Côte des Bars.
- Pinot Meunier (32% of vineyard plantings) adds roundness to the blend and produces supple champagnes with aromas of yellow plums and apricots. Found mainly in the Champagne region, it is particularly well suited to the Marne Valley.
- Chardonnay (30% of vineyard plantings) adds finesse, as well as floral and citrus notes to the champagne blend. It is found predominantly in the Côte des Blancs.
There are 4 additional white grape varieties which are approved for use in champagne, but they represent less than 0,3% of the plantings: Arbane, Petit Meslier, Pinot Gris and Pinot Blanc.