You probably already know about the three main grapes grown in the Champagne region… Pinot noir, Pinot meunier (red grapes and white juice) and Chardonnay (white grape and white juice).
Chardonnay accounts for about 30% of the vineyards, Pinot noir for about 38% and Pinot meunier for about 32%.
Pinot noir or Pinot is therefore the most widespread grape variety in Champagne. You will find it mostly, but not exclusively, in the region of the Montagne de Reims, Côte des Bar and Aube. It gives body to the wine and enhances the red fruits aromas.
Pinot Meunier or Meunier will be found mostly in the Marne Valley but not exclusively again, it is the most resistant grape to heat and cold. It develops aromas quicker than the other two grapes and gives expressive fruit aromas. It is often said to be a bridge between Chardonnay and Pinot noir.
Chardonnay is probably the most elegant grapes in Champagne and comes mainly from the Côte des blancs, around Epernay. It is delicate and refined and develops subtle floral aromas, gives freshness to the wine and is favored for potential aged blends.
Those three grapes nonetheless do cover only about 99.5% of the vineyards grown in Champagne as 4 forgotten grapes are still grown and allowed by the AOC.
Pinot blanc and Pinot gris, probably coming from Burgundy, and mutations of Pinot noir; Petit Meslier, also a white grape and white juice, is actually an ‘extension’ of a Chardonnay grape and was pretty largely planted in the past; and finally Arbanne, a white grape, almost extinct but sill planted in the south part of the Champagne region.
All seven grapes are approved to be used for any blend in the region of Champagne as long of course that the grapes are planted in Champagne!