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History of Dom Perignon champagne

A simple introduction on how to buy the best champagne.


Champagne gifts are still one of the most popular presents to give. From champagne gifts like wine and cheese gift baskets to the always favoured, flowers and champagne.

The finest Champagne

Champagne gifts are still one of the most popular presents to give someone. Champagne gifts like champagne and chocolates and the always favourite, flowers and champagne are considered romantic and celebratory.

We probably all know some of the names of the finest champagne houses in France, but this sparkling wine like so many of the best things in life comes from humble origins.

When choosing the best champagne to buy, the wines colour, make, vintage, taste and the cuvées or blends are very important factors.

When choosing the best champagne to buy, the wines colour, make, vintage, taste and the cuvées or blends are very important factors. But to understand the difference between champagne and the other sparkling wines you must first know a little of how its made.

The History of Champagne

“Come quickly I can taste the stars”

Champagne is a sparkling white wine grown and produced in North Eastern France in the Champagne Ardennes region – 130 miles north of Paris. It takes its name from the area and if champagne is not produced in this region, it is not true champagne!

The Romans first bought wine to France and planted vines in the Champagne area in the 5th century where production continued unchanged into the Middle Ages.

The church owned many vineyards at this time and used the wine for religious purposes. The wine produced in the champagne area how ever was nothing like the sparkling wine today.

The wine was red and because of the northerly location, thin and insipid. Added to that, storing the wine over winter in these cold northern temperatures meant that the yeast in the bottles would often stop working during the storage period.

Once spring arrived, the yeast would return to life and start fermenting, releasing carbon dioxide gas. This natural double fermentation process caused many bottles to explode and the final wine would be left with bubbles which was seen as a fault.

Dom Pérignon is widely credited with being the creator of champagne.

Dom Pérignon was a Benedictine monk who served as cellar master to Hautviller Abbey until his death in 1715. He spent his life experimenting and trying avoid the double fermentation to create the perfect wine and it was he who gave the wine of champagne it’s unmistakable style.

A set of rules said to be by Dom Pérignon were published in 1718. One rule states that champagne should only be made from Pinot Noir grapes. Another that the grape vines should be pruned harshly so they would be shorter and produce a smaller crop.

The grapes had to be harvested in cool damp conditions and every care had be taken to avoid breaking or bruising the grapes. Dom Pérignon would not allow the grapes to be trodden and insisted that the best grapes were pressed.

Popular myth has it that he said “Come quickly I can taste the stars” on first tasting champagne but this is now believed to have been an early advertising slogan!

Today the name Dom Perignon lives on as a brand of vintage champagne produced by Moet & Chandon.


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