The Aube vineyard
The Côte des Bars forms a transition between the plain of Champagne and the Burgundy massif. It is influenced by two major climatic zones: atlantic influences coming from the west, bringing rain, and continental influences with more extreme temperatures. Apart from undesirable late spring frosts, this combination produces the necessary moisture and heat combination for ripening grapes. The fact that the Aube vineyards are at the southern extremity of Champagne improves the maturity of its grapes.
The soils were formed during the Kimmeridgean phase of the secondary era. They are essentially made up of calcereous marls, of the type that are also to be found under the vineyards of Chablis and Sancerre. On the slopes that form the vineyards, the soils are especially rich in stony limestone elements which help the soils to drain freely.
All these factors help Pinot Noir to ripen very well. This variety accounts for 89% of vines planted in the region and naturally strongly influences the character of its wines. Nevertheless the Côte des Bars has diversified terroirs. Specific soil types, local climate conditions, slope and orientation are extremely varied, producing separate meso-climates. Each vine-grower needs to be fully attentive to his own terroir in order to make the most of it. For Michel Jacob this is an absolute priority, as he has divided the estate into plots which all receive individual treatment.