The soil in Champagne
Numerous benefits for both the vines and future Champagne
Regional differences in subsoil, for the same designation
In Champagne, the outcrops of sedimentary rock are 75% limestone, composed of chalk, marl and limestone proper. This type of subsoil is porous, thus allowing for good drainage. It therefore provides vines with excellent growing conditions, as their roots will stay dry and, in turn, this helps to increase grape quality.
Even though the region’s subsoil also comprises other sediments, the Champagne vines thrive best on chalk. But what exactly is chalk and how did it form? It is made up of fragments of marine micro-organisms deposited millions of years ago. Being highly porous, it acts as a reservoir (storing 300-400 litres of water per m3). This ensures that the vines have a steady supply of water even in the driest summers.
What’s more, chalk draws in water through capillary action, naturally regulating the vine’s water consumption. This water stress in growing season achieves that delicate balance of ripeness, acidity and berry aroma potential.