Champagne Category

Champagne (, French: [pa]) is a sparkling wine produced in the Champagne wine region of France under the rules of the appellation, that demand specific vineyard practices, sourcing of grapes exclusively from designated places within it, specific grape-pressing methods and secondary fermentation of the wine in the bottle to cause carbonation. The grapes Pinot noir, Pinot meunier, and Chardonnay are used to produce almost all Champagne, but small amounts of Pinot blanc, Pinot gris (called Fromenteau in Champagne), Arbane, and Petit Meslier are vinified as well. Champagne became associated with royalty in the 17th, 18th, and 19th centuries. The leading manufacturers made efforts to associate their Champagnes with nobility and royalty through advertising and packaging, which led to its popularity among the emerging middle class. Origins Still wines from the Champagne region were known before medieval times. The Romans were the first to plant vineyards in this area of north-east France, with the region being tentatively cultivated by the 5th century. In fact, cultivation was initially slow due to the unpopular edict by Emperor Domitian that all colonial vines must be uprooted. When Emperor Probus, the son of a gardener, rescinded the edict, a temple to Bacchus was erected, and the region started to produce a light, fruity, red wine that contrasted with heavier Italian brews often fortified with resin and herbs. Later, churches owned vineyards and monks produced wine for use in the sacrament of Eucharist. French kings were traditionally anointed in Reims, and champagne was served as part of coronation festivities.

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