Champagne, France – An Impressive consistency of lemon and lime flavors, smooth, crisp and easy to drink. A good length that is clean and full of apple and honey notes. Richness and softness fills the finish with a clean aftertaste.
For centuries, French wines have set standards to inspire winemakers around the world. No other country has France’s long history of fine wine production, which has helped define wine styles around the world.
How significant is France in the world of wine? The most popular international grape varieties, from Chardonnay to Merlot to Cabernet Sauvignon, are native to France. In many years France produces (and consumes!) more wine than any other country. Its production and export of fine wines is unmatched.
The ancient Greeks were the first to take advantage of France’s potential for wine production, as they planted vines in their colonies along the Mediterranean coastline more than 2,500 years ago. After the Romans conquered Gaul in 51 B.C., they took vines and winemaking practices north across the land. In the following centuries, Christian monasteries became centers for viticulture, and their monks made pioneering advances in both winemaking and distilling. By the Middle Ages, the English had already recognized the excellence of wines of France, and while they controlled Bordeaux they expanded the region’s existing vineyards to supply the brand-new export market.
Based on the modern notion of Champagne as the epitome of fine bubbly, it’s hard to imagine Champagne originated as a still wine. First planted by the ancient Romans, the vineyards of Champagne have been thriving for centuries. According to legend, in the year 496, the first king of France was anointed with wine from the Champagne region. For a millennium, the coronations of France’s kings were held in Reims, in the heart of Champagne. The festivities always involved Champagne wine, perhaps beginning the historical association of Champagne with important celebrations.