Day One

Epernay is a major city in the central part of Champagne south of Reims at the Marne river, between some hills on the left bank of Marne that are formed by Le Cubry, a stream that empties into the Marne.  It has the second largest number of major Champagne houses, “Grande Marques,” after Reims. Several of these Houses are located on “L’Avenue de Champagne.”  Epernay has a number of Champagne bars and Champagne/wine shops, as well as a selection of restaurants that makes it a popular tourist destination. The vineyards of Épernay are located on the hills surrounding the city on the western and eastern side, and are significantly planted with Chardonnay, about 60% with Pinot Noir planted with 24% and Pinot Meunier about 16%.

Leclerc Briant, Epernay

Founded in the village of Cumières in 1872 by Lucien Leclerc, the business moved to Epernay in 1955.  Bertrand Leclerc, the great grandson of the founder, and of his wife Jacqueline Briant, changed the status of the house to Maison de Négoce or trading house. The vignerons were amongst the pioneers of organic and biodynamic viticulture in Champagne.  In 2012 Leclerc Briant was saved from oblivion when it was acquired by Mark Nunelly and Denise Dupré, an American couple who  have re-invigorated the house. We visited and tasted at the Leclerc Briant storefront on the Avenue de Champagne in Epernay.     

We tasted with Morgan.

Cuvées tasted:

  • Millésime 2010 Extra Brut
  • La Croisette Brut
  • Blanc de Blancs Brut Zéro, Millésime 2012, Grand Cru
  • Rosé Brut
  • Rubis de Noirs Millésime 2006 Brut

Visit What’s Open to learn more about these cuvées.

Continue the tour with Day Two!