The Marne Valley or Vallee de la Marne is the valley which the Marne river runs thru some 60km west of Epernay and vineyards stretch all the way up the slopes of the river valley. The Marne Valley is not as well known as her compatriot which is the Montagne des Reims and Cote des Blancs but don't under estimate the champagne produced from this sub region.
Champagne wines are basically produced from 3 type of grapes namely Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and the unheralded Pinot Meunier which strives in this valley. Pinot Meunier grows well in the rich fertile and moist soil of the Marne Valley and is also more hardy to frost which is a problem along the valley as cold air gets trap in it. It also gives the wine the fruity aromas which we pick up when we nose it.
Our visit began on this sunny autumn morning from Reims the capital of Champagne. We have appointments at two champagne house in the Marne valley hence the renewed interest in this area.
This is also the season that i love best in Europe......all the leaves are golden brown.......the chill and this certain smell in the air that tells me winter is just round the corner.
All the forest in are golden brown and this year Champagne province experience an Indian summer
Our journey today will take us all the way to the village of Ay and for the appointment at two Champagne houses. Ay is only about 30 minutes from Reims and lies between Epernay and Ambonnay and in the Marne valley offcourse.
The drive was scenic as can be and with the windows wound down, we cruise thru miles and miles of well organized vineyards.
In the distant is the town of Epernay
A vineyard near Ay
This is the pinot meunier grapes. Its also call black riesling which is believed to be a mutation of the pinot noir grapes
In the village of Ay you will find medium size to small size Champagne houses such as Bollinger and Rene Geoffroy
The entrance to Rene Geoffroy
Remember James Bond only drink this champagne!
This is the famous Avenue de CHAMPAGNE and guess who is at this address???
Yes, none other than LVMH's jewel in the crown A.K.A Moet & Chandon and the premium wine of Moet & Chandon is no other than Dom Perignon which was named after monk himselfI'll drink to Dom Perignon the monk and cellar master who accidently discovered this wonderful wine!!