For most people, Champagne is a wine… perhaps the ultimate wine of celebration, luxury, victory, status, and celebrity. But for 1.3 million lucky, lucky, people… Champagne in France is home.
And it happens to be remarkably beautiful and chock-full of history.
The Champagne region in France naturally features acres and acres of carefully tended champs-producing vineyards….but it is also is renowned for its dramatic, expansive and historic underground cellars, the cavernous medieval chalk quarries (or creyeres in French) that provide natural cellars for storing champagne, historic cities, quaint villages, and magnificent chateaus which are often home to families who own the centuries-old Champagne houses.
Yes, I am probably biased as I have a very obvious bias for all things Champagne… BUT it’s not just me who thinks Champagne France is really rather remarkable…. in 2015 UNESCO declared the Champagne region a world heritage site alongside marvels such as Machu Picchu in Peru, the Taj Mahal in India, and the Great Wall of China. So it must rock!
Nestled in northern France (about 165km north-east of Paris), Champagne is about 33,500 hectares (or 76,000 acres or 25,606 km²) in size and is built on a unique foundation of chalky-limestone earth (read more about what the soil means here). To give some context to the size of the region, the country of Wales is just a little smaller (about 20,000 km²) and my home state of sunny Queensland, Australia is 1.853 million km²…. which means the Champagne region would fit into Queensland more than 70 times over! (Imagine all that champagne if only we could produce it here!!!!!)
Champagne France by numbers…
More Champagne by numbers, you will find that within that glorious 33,500 hectares there are:
- 280,000 vineyard plots
- across 319 villages
- with 15,000 winegrowers (5,000 of whom make their own wine, the others produce grapes that go into wines)
- 140 cooperatives
- 300 champagne houses
- and 15,000 workers to produce
- 312 million bottles each year (based on estimates from the 2016 harvest)
What a place to call home, right?
Did you know… there is actually also a village in Switzerland called Champagne which has been so named for about 1,143 years! There is a little tension between the Swiss villagers and the French because while wine is grown in Champagne, Switzerland, due to the restrictions on the Champagne appellation, they technically can’t use of the word Champagne on their bottles. Drama, drama, drama!
You can read more about the different grape growing regions in the Champagne region in French here.
Bubble & Flute promotes the responsible consumption of alcohol for individuals of legal drinking age in their country.