The history of champagne
Champagne is a French sparkling wine protected by a registered designation of origin. Its name comes from Champagne, a region in north-eastern France. The geographical delimitation, the grape varieties, the yields and the overall production of champagne are the main characteristics of the appellation. Champagne is a drink that has become synonymous with celebration. It enjoys a prestige recognized throughout the world, thanks to the very active protection and defence of the appellation.
The champagne wine was initially not sparkling. It is simply called “Champagne wine” between the 16th and 17th centuries. The process of making sparkling wine is discovered, according to legend, by the Benedictine monk Dom Perignon. However, this method was approximate. Scientific advances such as Louis Pasteur’s work on fermentation have made it possible to establish this effervescence. Historically, Maison Ruinart was the first to offer sparkling champagne wine (1729).
The market of champagne:
- The surface area of the vineyard
- The area in production is 33,762 hectares, two-thirds of which is in the Marne, 23.62% in the Aube and Haute-Marne, and 10% in the Aisne and Seine-et-Marne.
- Annual production
The 2018 harvest amounted to 309 million bottles, for a yield of 10,600 kg per hectare.
- In 2018, the French market accounted for 49% of total sales, and nearly 161 million bottles were exported to more than 190 countries, representing 51% of shipments. Among the main purchasing countries are the United Kingdom (34.15 million bottles), the United States (20.5 million), Germany and Japan (each nearly 12 million), Belgium (9.2 million) and Australia (8.1 million). Italy is in the seventh position, with 6.36 million bottles.
The opinion of a young Reims resident:
Champagne in the Marne region is a real symbol, I think we are the most consuming region, we drink it for all occasions when we have the means. In France, we often have long meals with friends and each meal is accompanied by a glass of champagne during the aperitif.
For me it is a real pleasure to live in this region which allows me to discover the best champagne of the region, being a great lover of good champagne, I can tell you that there is good and bad champagne, the best are not necessarily the great wine houses.
If one day you have the chance to come to my region, I advise you to make several cellar visits, whether to a large wine house or to smaller winemakers. To conclude, I recommend two champagnes: Bollinger, La Grande Année 2008 and Dehours GRANDE RESERVE – BRUT.
How champagne is made: