Saint-Nicaise Hill in Reims is not only home to the Champagne production facilities; grapes, the raw material needed to produce Champagne, are also grown on the hill. Some 70 hectares of vines are discreetly spread around the urban landscape. They tend to be enclosed by chalk or millstone walls. The ventilation shafts of the underground crayères emerge here and there, dotted among the rows of vines.
While the enclosed plots created by the Champagne Houses as they set up premises on Saint-Nicaise Hill, tend to be used for prestigious limited production, they also have a symbolic role… forging a cultural link between production and sales, as well as a physical link between the town and countryside. The enclosed plots are generally in pre-eminent locations and despite subsequent urban development, they offer views over the neighbouring hills and provide natural spaces within a landscape still urban in character.
The graphic nature of the vines serves several purposes; to bestow harmony on the sequence of entrances, enhance views and create layout lines linking different types of buildings (production sites, Parc de Champagne, Château des Crayères etc.).
The urban vineyards help create a coherent identity for the whole of Saint-Nicaise Hill. They differ from the rural vineyards in that they are more controlled and organised, and always surrounded by walls.
Tourism Office Grand Reims - 6 rue Rockfeller - 51100 Reims
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