A Grand Cru experience is an opportunity to sample some of the best quality 100% Grand Cru Pinot Noir in the Montagne de Reims or Chardonnay Champagnes (called Blanc de Blancs) in the Cote de Blancs, the only two grapes eligible for this status and sometimes referred to as Noble Grapes.
During a visit to specialist vineyards in these villages, you will learn about the various styles, methods of production, fermentation, ageing, yeasts, barrel selection, harvest versus bottled dates, and many other variables that are considered to create a specific style, which represents the terroir of each vineyard.
We can visit Grand Cru villages on both half and full day tours and include the village of Bouzy, for Rosé Champagne lovers. It is often interesting to combine a Grand Cru Experience with a private cellar visit to Dom Perignon, and sample their famous blend of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. Another exciting cellar to visit is Ruinart, known for its Blanc de Blancs. For those with more time and interest in a deeper understanding, of the winemaking process, we offer two Immersive Vine to Table Experiences.
Grand Cru villages: Avize, Chouilly, Cramant, Le Mesnil-sur-Oger, Oger, Oiry.
Famous Brands in the Area: Nicolas Feuillatte, Duval.
Chardonnay grapes have a green, almost golden appearance and produce white wine. They are often confused with those of Pinot Blanc, since both varieties have similar looking leaves, grape vines and cluster shapes.
Visit a member of the L’Artisan du Champagne based in the Cote des Blancs for a magnificent panoramic view over the vineyards and a multi-Chardonnay tasting. On an overnight multi-region tour in France, you can discover world class Chardonnay in the Cote de Blancs, Chablis, and Cote de Beaune (Burgundy).
Villages: Rilly, Ludes, Sacy, Chamery, Chigny les Roses
Grand Cru villages: Ambonnay, Bouzy, Louvois, Mailly, Sillery, Verzenay, Verzy
Famous Brands in the Area:Veuve Clicquot, Ruinart, Taittinger, Pommery, Krug
Located in Grand Cru Verzy visit a domaine with a 400-year-heritage where connoisseurs and epicureans can experience the taste of rare, terroir-driven, single vineyard, low doseage cuvées of exceptional character. On an overnight multi-region tour in France, you can discover world class Pinot Noir in Champagne, Cote de Nuits (Burgundy), and in Alsace.
After the Champagne riots in 1911, Champagne created the Échelle des Crus, a percentile system, applying a set price by a joint committee of growers and houses for each harvest and based on an evaluation of the quality and potential of the grapes from a village. Grand Cru villages received 100%, Premier crus 90 to 99% and everything else 80-89%.
A label with a "grand cru" stamp must contain 100% grand cru and must be sourced entirely from vineyards in Grand Cru villages. There are 17 Grand Cru (Great Growth) villages. The labels indicate the region where a wine was produced, but not always the grapes used. A bottle without a cru label may still contain cru grapes.