The 17th century
Les Riceys wines are in high demand
This still wine from the Champagne region made up around half of the shipments of a thriving local wine trade.
From Vermilion wine to Rosé des Riceys
Royal Wine, the Sun King
The Terrassiers des Riceys (stonemasons from Les Riceys) introduced the King to the wine from Les Riceys, which is said to have become one of his favourites.
The Phylloxera Crisis
The Phylloxera louse arrived in the village and decimated part of Les Riceys‘ «immense vineyards».
The reconstruction process began once the technique of grafting the varietal onto resistant rootstocks had been introduced.
The Champagne riots
In 1900-1910, champagne sales were experiencing an unprecedented boom against the backdrop of a succession of small or poor harvests. To meet demand, some of the négociants in the Marne were resorting to bringing in wines from outside the Champagne region, processing them on their premises and selling them as champagne. The demarcation of the Champagne appellation zone decreed in 1908 was primarily intended to eliminate this illegal trafficking. The Aube vineyards were disqualified and excluded from the official Champagne appellation zone. This shock disqualification resulted in the Aube winegrowers protesting in 1911. They had the backing of the local population, who felt humiliated and indignant about the resulting loss of identity. The badge worn by the demonstrators in March-April 1911 defiantly proclaimed: «Champenois nous fûmes, Champenois nous sommes, Champenois nous resterons, Et ce sera comme ça» (Champenois we were, Champenois we are, Champenois we shall remain, and that’s that!)
1st demarcation of the Champagne appellation zone project
The wine from the Aube was of good quality and the local producers were convinced that the Champagne appellation would be granted. However, their hopes were dashed as, in December 1908, after consulting with the Council of State, the elected officials from the Marne region obtained a decree which excluded, from the official Champagne appellation zone, all musts other than those from the Marne and two arrondissements in the Aisne. One of the reasons for this exclusion was that fact that, after the phylloxera crisis, some of the Aube vineyards had been replanted with Gamay Noir à jus blanc, a less demanding varietal which is just as suitable for “champagnisation” as the Pinot.
The early 1900s
A favourite with the Renoir family
In his biography of his father, the painter Renoir, the filmmaker Jean Renoir (1894-1979) recalls a family ritual during his summer vacations in Essoyes, around 1900: we used to hitch the horse to the carriage to ride to Les Riceys, the «land of rosé wine». Jean recalls that his father drank very little wine, «which made people [in Essoyes] think that he was ill» (sic), but, in fact, he used to order «more than one bottle of Pinot Rosé».
The «Pinot Rosé des Riceys « by the painter Renoir (Jean Renoir, «Pierre-Auguste Renoir, mon père», Folio-Gallimard, 1981, p.390-391).
The Les Riceys vineyards were officially reinstated as part of the Champagne appellation zone by the appellate judgement of 1923, before arbitration and the law of 1927.
Re-integration to the wine growing Champagne
Le Rosé des Riceys acquired AOC status
The decree of 1947 established an appellation «of ancient reputation, associated with excellent, well-coloured wines, and of a special type found nowhere else in France, rosé wines of great class, very different from the rosés of other regions and without equal.”
Bernard Pivot’s Apostrophes TV talk show
Apostrophes was an extremely popular French prime-time talk show at the time. Bernard Pivot and his guests tasted our famous Rosé on the show. This had the effect of reviving interest in Rosé des Riceys!
Creation of the dedicated Rose des Riceys bottle
The Les Riceys’ commune coat-of-arms and the name of our famous wine are moulded into the glass of the new distinctive signature bottle.
70th anniversary of the AOC/AOP Rose des Riceys
To celebrate this anniversary the Producers’ Union invited journalists and members of the wine trade to a grand vertical tasting of Les Riceys wines that had been tucked away in the producers’ cellars since 1947.