The Southern Champagne Vineyards
By Tom Stevenson and Michael Edwards
This Guide was last updated on 24 June 2010
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Locals will tell you that Troyes was constructed in the shape of a Champagne cork, but there were no bubbles in Champagne when the delightfully narrow (now pedestrian) streets and their 16th century half-timbered houses were built. And, of course, this city dates back much further than that, as Troyes was the ancient provincial capital and was once the seat of the counts of Champagne. The medieval heart of Troyes has been restored to match the splendour of the Cathedral of St-Peter and St-Paul. This university town has charming bars down the narrow alleyways and a host of good restaurants.
A must visit, with 866 hectares of vineyards, Les Riceys is the largest winegrowing village in the entire Champagne region, and the only one in France to be classified for three different AC wines: Champagne and Coteaux Champenois, of course, but also Rosé des Riceys. Furthermore, the technical specification to qualify for Rosé des Riceys is stricter than that for Champagne, albeit the fame of this legendary rosé far exceeds its quality.
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