Situated in north-eastern France, the Champagne region is one of the pillars of French culture and viticulture. Every festive occasion is a good reason to open a nice bottle of Champagne to celebrate!
The Champagne vineyard is laden with history. We attribute its creation to the Benedictine monks who were cultivating vines around the abbeys in the 7th century. One of the monks in particular is considered to be the inventor of this very special wine: Dom Perignon. The legend says that he would have been the first one to find out how to make the wine sparkling.
Champagne quickly became the wine of the Kings. It was in Reims, in the heart of the Champagne region, that the Kings of France were sacred. The ceremonies were all accompanied by feasts where Champagne flowed freely. Very quickly appreciated for their taste and finesse, those wines became a symbol of elegance and refinement as well as celebration.
Throughout the years, Champagne wines started becoming more and more famous. Aas a result, counterfeit and low-quality champagnes started to appear on the market. In 1942, in order to protect the quality and the name of Champagne, the CIVC, Comité Interprofessionnel du Vin de Champagne, was formed to implement regulations for the vineyard production and vinification methods.
Today, the name Champagne is protected and the legislation surrounding its production is very strict. The main rules to follow are:
- Use of the following varieties only: Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Meunier;
- Short pruning (Royat, Chablis, Guyot system);
- Maximum yield of grapes per hectare;
- Maximum pressing yield of 102 litres for 160 kilos of grapes;
- Minimum degree set each year;
- Preparation of wines in premises separate from all others and where only Champagne wines can be stored;
- Use of natural processes known as the "Champagne method";
- Storage in bottle for at least fifteen months before shipment.
Did you know?
The ‘Champagne method,’ also referred to as the traditional method, consists of adding some liqueur de tirage (a syrupy mixture of wine, sugar and yeast) to the base wine. This process aims to provoke a secondary fermentation inside the bottle. After the sugar is transformed into alcohol (creating carbon dioxide bubbles), the yeast dies and becomes lees (sediment settling at the bottom). The interaction between the lees and the wine creates, complexity, aroma and flavor compounds, palate weight and texture in the wine.