Formerly the wines of kings and princes, champagne is nowadays simply the best product to celebrate an event properly. But also the fun with the fine pearls makes the corks pop more and more often.
The area lies 100 km east of Paris and is divided into 3 regions: the Côtes des Blancs, the Marne Valley and the mountains of Reims. The soil is mainly chalk with a little bit of clay. This allows a better permeability and gives the champagne its finesse through the mineralilty.
The 3 grape varieties for the production of champagne are Pinot Noir, Pinot Meunier and Chardonnay. While in the Côtes de Blancs the Champagne is almost exclusively produced from Chardonnay (Blanc de Blancs), the Champagnes from the other regions are almost always Cuvées from two or even all three grape varieties.
Most of the grape producers sell the grapes to the much bigger, well-known champagne houses and do not produce champagne themselves. This practice has led to a classification of the vineyards, on which the kilo price of the grapes was determined. The best sites are called Grand Cru, followed by Premier Cru. The majority of the grape production does not fall into these categories.
Champagne can not only be enjoyed as an aperitif, but is also the perfect accompaniment to fine fish dishes and even a whole lunch or dinner.