Area of the Great Whites - Montgueux & Vitryat

Montgueux, known as Mons Gothorum (hill of the Goths) in Roman times, is an isolated outcropping of chalk facing south, about 12 kilometres from the town of Troyes, in the Aube district. It is a new champagne terroir, only planted since the 1960s, and is unusual in that it sits on Turonian chalk, which is an earlier stage of the Cretaceous period than the Campanian chalk of the Côte des Blancs and the Côte de Sézanne.

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Related to Montgueux, although physically separate, is the Vitryat, which also sits on the Turonian chalk and is spread over 14 villages. The elegant fruity champagnes are chardonnay dominant (98%) with only one per cent of grapes being pinot noir and one per cent meunier. Although by the end of the fifteenth century the Vitryat was one of the most densely planted areas in the region, it was devastated by phylloxera, a blight caused by an aphid that was possibly introduced to France from the USA in the mid nineteenth century. The vines were pulled up and the area wasn’t planted again until the 1970s.