The vine

your training programme:
Lovers
2. The vine

Why are the vines grafted?

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Ever since the
phylloxera epidemic,

grafting has been compulsory in Champagne.

Champagne producers are obliged to use phylloxera-resistant
rootstock
onto which the Champagne varieties
are grafted.

 

How a young vine

is produced:

 

Porte-greffe

1. First of all, the scion is grafted onto the rootstock.

Thermomètre

2. Next, the grafted plants are covered in wax and placed in a hot-house to consolidate the graft.

Mise en terre

3. Once the graft is sealed, the young vine is planted in a nursery.

Racines

4. As soon as its root system is established, the young vine is ready for use.

1.

Did you know?

Phylloxera epidemic

In the late 19th century, a parasite accidentally imported from America devastated the European vineyards.

The Champagne vineyards had to be totally replanted using disease-resistant rootstocks, which were no longer planted close together (“en foule”) but instead in regular rows.

 

Porte-greffes

Planting “en foule”

What are the regulatory requirements for planting vines?

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The uprooting
and replanting of vines

(or planting of new plots) must be

notified to the authorities.

Planting must take place before the end of May
(or late July for plants started in pots),

following a period when the soil
is rested and prepared.

Champagne AOC wines may only be produced
from the fruit of vines in their
third year of growth
(two years after planting).

Regulations specify a
maximum spacing
of 1.5 metres between rows and 0.9 – 1.5 metres
between individual vines.
Total of these two spacings
may never be more than 2.5 metres.

Spacing

between rows

Distance

between individual vines

Total

spacing
(inter- and intra-row)

Density per hectare

The average planting density is roughly
8,000 plants per hectare.
This high-density planting favours
a lower crop load per vine (therefore better quality).

1.

Did you know?

Champagne producers have the best possible young stock available thanks to massal selection, which involves identifying vines that produce the finest grapes, and clonal selection, which ensures the best possible balance between terroir and grape variety and optimal vine health.

 

Sélection massale

What is the purpose of pruning?

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When does harvesting begin?

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1956

Creation of a ripening
observation network
(“Réseau matu”)

The “Réseau matu” takes samples from clusters to check
their level of ripeness and accurately determines
the best dates and conditions for harvesting.

450
control plots

This data enables the Comité Champagne
to set the date when picking should commence
for every village
and every grape variety.

50-kilo
bins

The newly picked clusters are placed in bins perforated with drainage holes
in the bottom and sides to keep air circulating around the grapes.

Then they are swiftly transported to one of the 1,900 pressing centres
located throughout the Champagne region.


Your next stage:

The winemaking process

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