Champagne - Once upon a time a perfect accident took place.
At some point we have all sipped Champagne and said cheers with a delightful flute of fizz but we do not often question how this beautiful drink came about, where it all began? Here at the Cambridge Champagne Company you can imagine we always ask such questions, the world of Champagne & Wine is our life and we love its history, but It could so easily have never existed....
The fizzing, popping golden cuvée we all know today as Champagne was discovered by pure accident whilst wine growers (Today's famous Champagne houses) based in the Champagne region of France, were trying to equal Burgundy Wines.
Whilst trying to follow the normal wine making process, makers were frequently unsuccessful due to the harsh winters they suffered in the region. The fermentation process stopped during the colder months of the year. However as the temperatures rose and everything began to thaw in the spring, once sleeping yeast began fermenting again causing a surge of carbon dioxide to be released. The wine makers were unprepared for such reaction so the bottles used could not support the build up of gas, which resulted in many weak bottles exploding.
The few lucky bottles that remained intact contained a new sparkling wine. After this amazing find the King of France, Hugh Capet began to serve the sparkling wine during official dinners at the Palace.
There are many refuted stories on how Champagne first came into existence, such as Monk Dom Perignon had invented it, but this is widely doubted due to documentation that proves otherwise. He does however have a huge part to play in the history of Champagne as he was the inventor of the second fermentation process, making him without a doubt the founder of Champagne as we know it today.
Champagne is made in many ways but the most traditional way is by the Methode Champenoise which was created by Benedict Monk Dom Perignon. This method means the grapes are harvested, pressed and allowed to begin primary fermentation, they are then blended with yeast and sugar to begin second fermentation, it's this second round that gives Champagne its famous character and profile.
The next time you sip a glass of Moet, Krug or Champagne Dominique Boulard, remember just how lucky we all are.