Among the 6 crus of Cognac, the most prestigious are Grande Champagne and Petite Champagne. Why do they call it that? What relationship with the famous fizzy drink?
Soils that are found in the Grande and Petite Champagne are constituted of clay and limestone. They are quite superficial, made of soft limestone and chalk. The limestone content is very high from the surface (as you can see on the picture). These soils have very similar characteristics to the soils of the Champagne region. The Charentes regions were named Grande Champagne and Petite Champagne referring to their terroir, very similar to the one in Champagne (Reims).
The type of clay found in these soils (montmorillonite) gives them a good structure, high fertility and proper water reserve, proprice to the development of the vine.
Despite their thinness, these soils are resistant to drought, especially as the porous subsoil contributes to the water reserve: it acts like a giant sponge through which water may slowly rise gradually as the summer dryness increases.
The word champagne, in old French, “champaigne” comes from the Latin “campania“, meaning countryside or open (as opposed to wooded areas).
Grande Champagne has 13 200 ha of vineyards. The wine from these vineyards is made for Cognac. The Grande Champagne Cognacs are known for making very thin and light, stylish, predominantly floral bouquet. The Grande Champagne Cognac is traditionally considered the most prestigious. The Cognac made from this locality can benefit from AOC “Cognac Grande Champagne” and “Cognac Grande Fine Champagne”.
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Discover an interactive map of region of Cognac.