The history of champagne

Article 04/12/2015

Centuries of tradition go into the making of champagne. From its origins as a sacred wine, it later became the preferred beverage of kings at their coronation ceremonies. Nowadays we know it as the time-honored wine of special occasions.

 

Discover the history of Champagne, centuries of tradition go into the history of champagne. (Full screen mode on Youtube)

Birth of a terroir

  • 3rd century: Viticulture first appeared in Champagne;
  • 1114: Great Charte champenoise;
  • 16th century: reputation of Aÿ wines.

From a still wine to an effervescent wine

  • 1735: birth of the Champagne bottle, still in use today;
  • 1811: founding of Maison Perrier-Jouët;
  • 1827: founding of Maison Mumm;
  • 19th century: champagne embodied the
    French spirit and became the celebratory wine.

Beginnings of the Champagne appellation

  • 1882: four champagne houses, including Maison Mumm, founded the first trade body, the Syndicat de commerce de vins de Champagne;
  • 1887: the name 'champagne' is reserved for wines from the Champagne region;
  • 1890-1894: phylloxera crisis;
  • 1908: first delimitations of the terroir (15,000 hectares along the Marne and Aisne Rivers);
  • 1911: official establishment of the 'cru ranking';
  • 1927: new regional delimitation.

Struggle for quality

  • 1931-1935: crises caused by overproduction and poor sales;
  • 29 June 1936: creation of the Champagne AOC label to guarantee the quality and authenticity of the terroir;
  • 1941: creation of the CIVC (Comité Interprofessionnel du Vin de Champagne), a trade organization bringing together independent champagne producers and Champagne Houses;
  • 2001: launch of sustainable wine growing.

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