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Why France is famous for champagne

21 October 2020 08:06

Fill your flutes in France

Fill your flutes in France

Many of us will be familiar with the joyous pop! of its bottle top, the soft and exciting fizz that follows, and the merriment that ensues once it's poured. But when it comes to champagne's origins, many of us are somewhat in the dark. So where does it come from, and why do we love it so?

What is champagne?

Champagne is a sparkling wine hailing from the wine region of the same name in north-eastern France, made using very particular grapes including Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier. Due to a special secondary fermentation method, the wine becomes carbonated - which is exactly what gives the drink its nickname 'bubbly' here in the UK.

When does France's history with champagne begin?

Historians have found that the Champagne region has been responsible for still wine production since as early as Medieval times, with the Romans cultivating the land to grow vines as far back as the 5th century. Contrary to popular belief, Dom Perignon (the man, not the party essential) wasn't the first person to produce champers as we know it today; the earliest sparkling wine recorded was created by Benedictine monks near Carcassonne in 1531.

How important is champagne to France today?

People often use the term champagne to describe any sparkling wine, but in the EU and some other countries, wine can't be sold as champagne unless it's been produced in the Champagne region. Considering around 302 million bottles are produced per year, that makes the fizzling treat a pretty important part of France's economy, tourism and hospitality industries.

Where can I go in France to find its famous champagne?

You can pretty much expect to find champagne anywhere in France, so long as you're willing to spend a little extra than your average verre du vin. If you're looking for the ultimate authentic glass, though, head to the Champagne region itself - there are plenty of tasting tours and cellar visits where you can enjoy a sip of the good stuff under a blissful Champagne sunset. Ahhh...

What else is France known for?

And if Champagne isn't top of your agenda, what else can you enjoy in France? Gosh, where do we start? Home of the croissant, the Louvre, the Eiffel Tower, some of the world's most favoured cuisine, the filmic beauty of the French Riviera and the mind-bogglingly beautiful French Alps - there's plenty more to keep you busy in France.

Make sure you're covered for France

Interested in making your next trip a French trip? You should take a look at our brief guide to travelling in France.