The Côte des Bar is an island between the plains of Champagne and the rolling slopes of Burgundy. To reach it from the Côte des Blancs, one drives about two hours south from Épernay, rolling across plains filled with wheat and green cover crops broken up by intermittent forests.
The largest city near the Côte des Bar and that of the Aube département (10) in which it lies is Troyes, once abundant with textile factories but now perhaps most known for its high quality andouillette, a powerfully aromatic sausage made from pig's intestines.
Just south of the Côte des Bar, one finds the small village of Chaource, where the creamy, buttery and delicious cow's milk cheese takes its name. Less than an hour southwest lies the northern tip of Burgundy and the town of Chablis, making the Côte des Bar the transition point between Champagne central and Burgundy.
Côte des Bar Terroir
The soil in the Côte des Bar is closer to that of Chablis — Kimmeridgian marl topped by Portlandian (Tithonian) limestone — than it is to the vineyards near Épernay and Reins, which is composed mostly by Cretaceous chalk.
Unlike in Chablis, however, producers in the Aube specialize in Pinot Noir. Humid Atlantic influences coming from the west and continental influences with higher temperatures are two factors that help Pinot Noir ripen extremely well in the area. In fact, Pinot accounts for almost 90% of vines planted in the region and strongly influences the character of its Champagnes.
Nevertheless, the Côte des Bar has diversified terroirs. Specific soil types, local climate conditions, slope and orientation are extremely varied, producing separate micro-climates. Each vigneron needs to be fully attentive to his own terroir in order to make the most of it.
Côte des Bar Champagne Producer
Champagne Serge Mathieu
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