The excellence of the wines in Champagne is due largely to its soils. The deep chalky subsoils, covered by a layer of siliceous clay belong to a Jurassic formation named after the village of Kimmeridge in Dorset.
By virtue of its climate, the Champagne vineyard is a difficult mistress. The most northern of France’s vineyards, it enjoys not only less sunshine but a greater threat of frost. Here more than elsewhere the vineyard’s aspect is important: the most favourable situation is roughly one third up the slope, out of the valley fogs but not at an unprotected height, and facing south west, to gain maximum hours of afternoon sun.
Taittinger owns 288 hectares of vineyards in the best localities of Champagne making it the third largest domaine owner in the region. The most famous of these are the vineyards surrounding Château de la Marquetterie and parcels in the prestigious Côte des Blancs.
This ensures a regular supply of approximately 50% of Taittinger’s annual needs, significantly more than other well known Champagne houses. The remaining 50% come from carefully selected growers, some of whose links go back four generations. As quality is of paramount importance, Taittinger only uses grapes from the finest vineyards in Champagne. Taittinger ranks in the top three major Champagne Houses in terms of self supply.
All the Chardonnay grapes used in the Comtes de Champagne Blanc de Blancs come from the 100% rated vineyards of Avize, Cramant, Chouilly, Oger and Mesnil-Sur-Oger in the Côte des Blancs.
Chardonnay accounts for 37% of Taittinger’s plantings (compared with 27% for the whole appellation). The balance is planted with 48% Pinot Noir and 15% Pinot Meunier
All of Taittinger’s vineyards are managed under the careful eye of Vincent Collard and Christelle Rinvelle, Champagne Taittinger’s highly regarded vineyard manager.