Champagne has to be made in Champagne, from grapes grown in Champagne, to be called Champagne. The boundaries of Champagne are are legally defined and split into five wine producing districts within the administrative province: Aube, Côte des Blancs, Côte de Sézanne, Montagne de Reims, and Vallée Valléederne. The towns of Riems and Epernay are the locations of most of the Champagne houses. Champagne is grown from one white grape and two red grapes. The white grape for Champagne is Chardonnay and the two black grapes for Champagne are Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier.
A brief Vintage Guide for recent Champagne Vintages
2009 A warm summer giving ripe grapes and generous wine drink now to 2020.
2008 A Classic long lived vintage that requires more time in the cellar. Some say that it’s as good as the 02’s.
2007 A lean vintage though some of the Chardonnay is good so watch out for Blanc de Blancs.
2006 A ripe charming vintage drinking well already.
2005 A good vintage for Chardonnay so not so good for the pinot dominated wines.
2004 A Classic Vintage with wines similar in style to the 1998 which bodes well for them. Good Chardonnay again.
2003 Good for Rosé but the other wines are sure to be short-lived.
2002 The outstanding year for Champagne. Rich complex some wines are simply stunning. Drink now if you must but wait if you can. Drink now to 2025.
2000 A generous forward vintage. Some great Chardonnays so go for Blanc de Blancs in this vintage.