A history that goes back to the Gallo-Roman era
This village is very ancient and seems to have been founded in the Gallo-Roman era. Wine-growing is believed to have started approximately at the same time. Times have not always been peaceful and quiet.
Ricey-Bas was founded during the Gallo-Roman era, whereas Ricey-Haute-Rive and Ricey-Haut are more recent. Invaded by barbarians just a few years after its creation, the village went through several wars as the area was being claimed successively by the Lords of Champagne and the Lords of Burgundy. It was then invaded by foreigners during the French Empire in 1814. Finally it survived both World Wars.
Towards the end of the Hundred’s Year War, the last battles between Louis XI of France and Charles the Bold, Duke of Burgundy, were taking place and the village was completely destroyed. This means that all the houses and buildings you can see now were built after the end of the 15th century.
Louis XIV of France enjoyed drinking the rosé wine from Les Riceys. He had found out about it thanks to the local masons who were working on the construction of the Palace of Versailles.
After each of these setbacks, the locals reconstructed the village and started growing their vines again.
Les Riceys are composed of three villages: Ricey-Bas, Ricey-Haute-Rive and Ricey-Haut..
The famous rosé wine from Les Riceys
Les Riceys produce a much appreciated rosé wine and the village enjoyed relative wealth as witnessed nowadays with its magnificent churches and its beautiful stone houses.
During the Revolution, the district was the second most populated in the Aube department and that remained true until the 1826 census.
Because it was quite isolated, the area was one of the first ones to see its population move to more urban districts and lost a lot of its importance, especially after the vineyards were infested with grape phylloxera at the end of the 19th century. Vine started growing on the hillsides and vineyards now spread over 2,086 acres of land which make it the largest wine-growing area in the Champagne region. This outcome came at a price as the wine-growers’ revolt proved it in 1911 which ended with the integration of wines from the Aube department to the protected designation area of Champagne in 1927