The name Aÿ dates back to the Roman era and the village is said to have been founded by a certain Ageius. Although there were vineyards in Aÿ 2,000 years ago, this hillside village owes its reputation to the French King Henri IV, who used to introduce himself as “His majesty of Aÿ and Gonesse, the Lord of good wine and good bread”.
Aÿ was therefore known for its sparkling wines as far back as the Middle Ages, even before the “official” birth of Champagne two centuries later. The presence of famous brands and talented vignerons in the village today attests to the fact that Aÿ is not only an exceptional terroir, but also an important village in the champagne region.
Aÿ, a prestigious Grand Cru
AND THE KINGDOM OF PINOT NOIR
Located just a few kilometres from Epernay and around 30km from Reims, Aÿ is one of the rare 17 villages to be classified as Grand Cru in the Champagne region. The vineyards are situated at the heart of three important areas: the Côtes des Blancs, Montagne de Reims and Vallée de la Marne.
Its famous hillside overlooking the village is the kingdom of the Pinot Noir grape variety. The Champagne Landscapes are now listed to the UNESCO world heritage list.
As a trained geologist, Louis Cheval could talk to you for hours about the soils and sub-soils that make up the Aÿ terroir. The subtle balance between chalk and limestone in this very special terroir endows the champagne from Aÿ with its prized power and finesse.
It is perhaps no surprise that the poet, Alfred de Vigny, declared in 1853, that “the mousse of Aÿ radiates happiness“.