The History of Champagne
The history of Champagne dates back to the 17th century when in the cold, northeastern region of France, bubbles accidentally appeared in bottles of fermenting wine.
That’s right. This celebrated beverage first began in Champagne, France as a science experiment. The trapped carbon dioxide bubbles were not originally intended to be part of the wine.
And the rest, as they say, is history.
It is widely rumored that Champagne was invented by Dom Pérignon. It is also rumored that he was blind. Neither is the case.
English scientist and physician Christopher Merrett created his own Champagne production method in 1662, nearly 30 years earlier.
The Dom was a Benedictine monk and cellar master at the abbey Saint-Pierre d’Hautvillers where he spent many years tending their vineyards.
While Perignon may not have actually invented Champagne, he is credited with perfecting the art of champagne production during his years at the abbey.
The location of the region of Champagne has also played a role in the history of Champagne and in the development of the beverage that bears its name.
The Champagne region includes the major cities of Epernay and Reims. It lies about 90 miles east of Paris. Click here to see a map.
Reims, considered the capital of Champagne, is home to the Cathedral of Reims, site of numerous royal coronations and celebratory events over the centuries.
The new sparkling wines of the region often became an important part of those celebrations.