Ay (postcode 51160) is a small commune in France, in the Champagne Region Montagne de Rheims. Ay was merged in 2016 with Bisseuil and Mareuil-sur-Ay, to form a new municipality called Ay-Champagne. The locality of Ay consists of 3923 inhabitants (as of 2016). The new commune of Ay-Champagne consists of 5741 inhabitants (as of 2016). Ay is located about three kilometers east of Épernay, on the right bank of the Marne and the Marne valley.
Ay carries the status of Champagne classification, as a Grand Cru place. The vineyards of Ay amount to 356 hectares and are planted with 315 hectares, mainly with Pinot Noir. Only about 10 hectares are planted with Pinot Meunier and 31 hectares with Chardonnay. The vineyards start behind the village and extend on relatively steep slopes, high up to 200 m, bordering Dizy and Mutigny. The highest quality grapes grow directly behind Ay, in a gem consisting of slopes, hollows as well as valleys.
The grapes are protected from the wind by the slopes and the place itself, which creates a unique microclimate. Under the protection, the grapes ripen outstandingly. In the middle of the valley, there is the famous single vineyard "Côte aux Enfants", which is owned by the champagne house Bollinger. In smallest quantities, Bollinger produces a varietal Côte aux Enfants still wine, which, however, is very difficult to obtain. The wine is also only made in very good years. Bollinger lets this red wine mature in barrique.
Ay Champagne impress with a good alcohol content. They are full, powerful, with high finesse and an elegant bouquet.