Saturday, February 6, 2021

The Rise of Champagne

 From Tatler:

Although first produced in the Champagne region of France in the 1600s, the drink has its origins in the Roman period, with the enterprising invaders producing wine in the chalky terroir the area is renowned for. As Peretti shares, ‘several Gallo-Roman chalk pits are still being used today in Reims as cellars.’

Originally conceived as flawed wine due to its unpredictable bubbles, it soon gained popularity, and was used as the coronation drink of French Kings from the 17th century onwards. It was the Duc d’Orléans though who was responsible for its sudden arrival in French high society, after serving it to his circle of aristocratic friends at the Palais Royal in Paris. From here its popularity rapidly spread across Europe, with royalty and aristocracy ordering crates of it from the newly founded Champagne houses of Moët & Chandon and Taittinger.

‘The Champenois have always been pioneers and were among the first wine producers to begin exporting internationally as far afield as America and Russia in the 18th century,’ explains Peretti. ‘The growing affection and demand for Champagne among England’s aristocracy during the 18th century helped develop the UK market.’ (Read more.)


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