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Did You Know?…………………..

Champagne was discovered by the English and not the French

There are two black grape varieties and one white that are allowed in the making of Champagne.

The Champagne area is the only wine making area in France that does not have its own traditional regional style of cuisine.

The name Champagne comes from the delimited area of the same name in Northern France and only the wines produced in this region can be called

Champagne, from anywhere else in the world they can only be called ‘Sparkling Wine’ .

The secondary fermentation that creates ‘the fizz’ in Champagne takes place inside the bottle.

The wine region of Alsace has ‘changed ownership’ 5 times since 1870, owned at that time by France then later Germany, France again then Germany and now France. Hence the reason Alsace wines are produced from German and French grape varieties with influences from both countries in terms of style.

The Languedoc region of Southern France is the World’s premiere vineyard area.

All Cognac is Brandy, but not all Brandy is Cognac.

The Loire river is the longest in France rising in the Massif Central Mountains and reaching the Atlantic at Nantes. Covering a 635 mile journey it is known as the ‘Garden of France’.

There are 10 ‘Grande Crus’ Beaujolais Wines each taking it’s name from the village area of production, where you will not see  the term ‘Beaujolais’ on the label. [Check our Beaujolais section]

The Grape variety ‘Syrah’ is the same as ‘Shiraz‘. One legend, and there are many, states that it originated from the Iranian city of ‘Shiraz’ where the ‘Shirazi wine is produced. It arrived in Marseille in Southern France as long ago as 600BC and became ‘Syrah’. [See our section on Grape Varieties]

The original wine from Bordeaux was a light Red in colour, almost Rose and called ‘Clairet‘ [clear], it was the English who later turned this term into ‘Claret’.

When Edward 11 married Isabella of France in 1308, he ordered 1,000 tonneaux  of ‘Clairet’ to be imported  for his celebration, the equivalent of 1.1 million bottles. 

Whilst Bordeaux classifies wine quality in terms of it’s ‘Chateaux‘, Burgundy classifies the individual ‘Vineyards’.


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