• Marno-calcaire from the Champagne vineyards of Michel Loriot, in Festigny

    I was speaking with Michel Loriot the other day about the terroir of Festigny, on the south side of the Vallée de la Marne, and he showed me a couple of rocks that were quite interesting. Festigny lies in a little side valley, called the Vallée du Flagot, along a tributary of the Marne. According to Loriot, the soils in this area are fairly homogeneous, primarily made up of marno-calcaire, a chunky, calcareous marl studded with fossilized seashells, as you can see in the above photo. This is said to impart freshness and vivacity in the wines, along with a saline, iodine-like minerality.

    However, Loriot has one vineyard, called Le Rochet, where the composition of the rock is notably different. Here, the marno-calcai
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