There are about 300 Champagne Houses who, although they only own about 12% of the vineyard area, produce over two thirds of the Champagne produced. Rather than grow it, they buy in most of their grapes to make the wines. What these 300 houses have become very, very good at over the years is producing the wines and working out ways of selling them!
For the past 200 hundred years or so, Champagne has been seen as THE drink of luxury around the world. Why? Because the houses have told everyone about it!
The Kings of France were anointed in Reims, and wine from Champagne was always served at the feasts. The middle class of the world lap this kind of stuff up and went out and bought the sparkling wines in droves. This all sounds great until you realize the French revolution happened before modern Champagne was even invented.
Politics isn’t a bad one either. In 1889 as France marked the centenary of the revolution, some houses put pictures of Marie Antoinette on their label, for those who thought she’d been hard done to. Others went with staunchly republican labels. Eitherway everyone was drinking Champagne.
In World War One, the labels were strewn with flags and soldiers for each country where the wine was exported to. That included both sides of the conflict. Again, everyone was drinking Champagne.
It’s still a great wine, but it still helps there’s always an angle for the marketing machine.
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