Champagne

Champagne

Champagne is a sparkling wine produced from grapes grown in the Champagne region of France following rules that demand secondary fermentation of the wine in the bottle to create carbonation.  Some use the term champagne as a generic term for sparkling wine, but many countries reserve the term exclusively for sparkling wines that come from Champagne and are produced under the rules of the appellation.   The primary grapes used in the production of Champagne are Pinot noir, Chardonnay and Pinot Meunier. Champagne appellation law only allows grapes grown according to appellation rules in specifically designated plots within the appellation to be used in the production of Champagne. Some sparkling wines produced in other regions of the world use other grapes.

Champagne first gained world renown because of its association with the anointment of French kings. Royalty from throughout Europe spread the message of the unique sparkling wine from Champagne and its association with luxury and power in the 17th, 18th and 19th century. The leading manufacturers devoted considerable energy to creating a history and identity for their wine, associating it and themselves with nobility and royalty. Through advertising and packaging they sought to associate Champagne with high luxury, festivities, and rites of passage. Their efforts coincided with the emergence of a middle class that was looking for ways to spend its money on symbols of upward mobility.

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