Located 48 km south-east of Vertus and 64 km east of Sézannais, Vitryat is a region with viticultural ties to the 15th century, when it was established as the second most densely planted vineyard area after Reims. Due to the blight of phylloxera, vines were pulled up—and the region overlooked—until interest was rekindled and grafted vines were replanted in the 1970s.
Vitryat is home to 15 villages and now has a small vineyard area of 459ha, with a varietal composition of 98% Chardonnay, 1% Pinot noir and 1% Meunier. In contrast to the Campanian chalk found in the Côte des Blancs and Sézannais, the chalk in Vitryat is from the earlier Turonian stage and mostly too porous and mixed in with calcareous marls to be appropriate for viticulture. Nevertheless, Vitryat holds a few pockets of purer Turonian chalk on slopes where vines can thrive and produce quality wines.
Presently, the majority of Chardonnay from Vitryat is sold to the larger Houses, where they contribute elegance, freshness and fruitiness to blends that are designed to be accessible.
Named after the small hill where vineyards were first planted in the 1960s, the village of Montgueux is located south of Sézannais and 5 km west of the city of Troyes (the ancient capital of Champagne) in the Aube département. A fascinating anomaly of the Aube, Montgueux’s relatively new terroir is an isolated outcropping of Turonian chalk that bears little resemblance to its nearest neighbour, the growing region of the Côte des Bar, where Pinot noir dominates in clay and limestone soil. This chalk is also 15 million years older than the Campanian chalk that is found throughout the Côte des Blancs, and yields exquisite Blanc de Blancs that are just as singular and renowned as those produced in the north.
The slope of Montgueux is fully exposed to the south and is planted to 90% Chardonnay and 10% Pinot noir. Champagne Jacques Lassaigne is a notable grower-producer of this region, and the House has been led since 1999 by Emmanuel, Jacques’s son. Driven by a desire to express Montgueux’s distinctive soil, Emmanuel’s focus shifted from growing and selling fruit, to estate-bottling, which has catapulted the House to stardom as a Blanc de Blancsspecialist and pre-eminent pioneer, champion and custodian of this exciting viticultural landscape.