The grape varieties
PINOT NOIR CHARDONNAY PINOT MEUNIER
The Champagne vineyard today is predominantly planted to the black Pinot Noir and Meunier and the white Chardonnay. (Other approved varietals are together less than 0.3% of plantings).
The Pinot Noir accounts for 38% of planting. It is the predominant grape variety on the Montagne de Reims and the Côte des Bar. It is the Pinot Noir that adds backbone and body to the blend, producing wines with distinctive aromas of red berries and good structure.
The Pinot Meunier accounts for 32% of planting. This robust grape variety is particularly well suited to the more argillaceous soils of the Marne Valley. The Meunier adds roundness to the blend, producing supple, fruity wines.
Chardonnay accounts for 30% of plantings. The Chardonnay is king on the Côte des Blancs, yielding delicately fragrant wines with characteristic notes of flowers, citrus and sometimes minerals.