- Chardonnay: white grape
- Pinot Noir: black grape
- Pinot Meunier: black grape (white juice)
- Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier are the only two black grapes permitted to produce Champagne.
Note: the Petit Meslier, Pinot Blanc and Arbane are grapes that still exist and are also used for the production of Champagne. However, they cannot be replanted again.
About the Pinot Meunier:
- Pinot Meunier grapes sprout later in spring than Pinot Noir or Chardonnay.
- The Pinot Meunier is not so sensitive to frost and flourishes well in clayey areas like the Vallée de la Marne, this area is not suitable for Chardonnay or Pinot Noir.
- The Pinot Meunier ripens more quickly than the Chardonnay and Pinot Noir.
- Some producers think that the Pinot Meunier is a less strong grape and use it in the Champagnes that are not suitable to store for a long period. That is why they use the Pinot Noir or the Chardonnay for their most prestigious Champagnes. However, there are enough excellent, prestigious Champagnes made of Pinot Meunier.