Today the Champagne vineyards occupy 35,280 hectares and are divided into 4 sub-regions:
- Montagne de Reims,
- Vallée de la Marne,
- Côte des Blancs,
- Côte des Bar.
The microclimate and terroir of Champagne is unique: it is here that first-class pinot noir, amazing pinot meunier and sophisticated and refined chardonnay - three cepages, officially approved for the production of champagne - mature to be hand-picked carefully during the harvest period.
There are four more varieties that are very rare, nevertheless some winemakers tend to revise the forgotten traditions, using rare varieties to assemble rare cuvées.
Champagne making requires patience and is very time and money consuming: after all, all the grapes are harvested by hand, and even the basic brut has to be aged in cellars for at least 18 months. For vintages champagnes the term of aging prolongs till at least 3 years.
In 2015 world famous champagne houses in Reims and Epernay, interminable hills with straight rows of vineyards, small family wineries where traditions of champagne making are continuously transmitted from one generation to another and hundreds of kilometers of cellars, some of which are located in ancient Gallo-Roman quarries, were included by UNESCO in the list of world cultural heritage sites.