History of Champagne wine between the 16thand 17th centuries
Champagne popularity grows
The16th and 17th centuries see a recession in the vineyards as a result of the religious wars and troubles of the Fronde period. However, the wines of Champagne, red for the best of them, managed to reinforce their position in the Royal and Imperial courts of Europe.Champagne wines were first introduced to the Court of France during Francis I’sreign.
A letter sent in 1671 by Marquis de Saint-Evremond to Count d'Olonne, mentions for the first time the words "Maison de Champagne". Prestigious figure like Pope Leo X Ay, Charles V, Francis I and Henry VII of England did even own some of them; A few years later, Louis XIV or Jacques II of England were great ambassadors of Champagne wines.
Birth of Champagne (sparkling):
In the second part of the 17th century, winemakers started producing white wine with red grapes. This is possible becausepressed red grapes release white juice! This juice turns to be of even better quality than the one obtained with white grapes.
Dom Perignon, prosecutorof the Benedictine Abbey of Hautvillers from 1668 to 1715, wanted to make the wine even better. He got the idea to make it even better by assembling the grapes before pressing them.At that same period, people realize that the wine is better preserve and easier to transport in thick glass bottles. Until then, handmade bottles were fragile and were only used to serve the wine, directly from the barrel to the table.
If fermentation was incomplete it would start again with the increase of temperaturesat spring producingcarbon dioxide. It is the birth of sparkling.For some wine makers this phenomenon wasseen has a problem and they tried to avoid it.Others, especially during the 17th century, deliberately worked to develop the sparkling wines.