Champagne (wine)

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Champagne is a sparkling wine produced by inducing the in-bottle secondary fermentation of the wine to effect carbonation. It is produced exclusively within the Champagne region of France,[1] from which it takes its name.

The primary grapes used in the production of Champagne are Pinot noir, Chardonnay and Pinot Meunier. Through international treaty, national law or quality-control/consumer protection related local regulations, most countries limit the use of the term to only those wines that come from the Champagne appellation. In Europe, this principle is enshrined in the European Union by Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) status. Other countries, such as the United States, have recognized the exclusive nature of this name, yet maintain a legal structure that allows certain domestic producers of sparkling wine to continue to use the term "champagne" under limited circumstances.[2] The majority of US-produced sparkling wines do not use the term "champagne" on their labels and some states, such as Oregon, ban producers in their states from using the term as it can be confusing to consumers.[3] US produced wines such as André, Cook's, Totts and Korbel use the word "Champagne" on their US government approved labels, but are not from Champagne.

Champagne first gained world renown because of its association with the anointment of French kings. Royalty from throughout Europe spread the message of the unique sparkling wine from Champagne and its association with luxury and power. The leading manufacturers devoted considerable energy to creating a history and identity for their wine, associating it and themselves with nobility and royalty. Through advertising and packaging they sought to associate Champagne with high luxury, festivities, and rites of passage. Their efforts coincided with the emergence of a middle class that was looking for ways to spend its money on symbols of upward mobility.[1]


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