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Sparkle

Champagne and weddings are a perfect match. But how much do you really know about your big day’s significant other? Check out our guide to the world’s most famous bubbles and get ready to celebrate.

with knowledge By David White

Champagne is a re gion and a w ine

Champagne is a historic region in northeastern France, best known for the sparkling wines that bear its name. French courts began protecting the name in the mid-19th century as producers in the Loire Valley began advertising their own sparkers as “Champagne.” These various decisions were affirmed by France’s highest court in 1889 and the region gained international protection in 1891 by the Treaty of Madrid, which created an international system to protect trademarks. The Treaty of Versailles, which brought an end to World War I, reaffirmed international trademark recognition. The United States didn’t sign the Treaty of Madrid or the Treaty of Versailles, though, which is why U.S. wine producers were able to label their sparklers as “champagne” throughout the 20th century. American trade officials agreed to end the use of “semi-generic” names like Champagne, Burgundy and Sherry in 2005, but producers who were already using those names were grandfathered in. That’s why Korbel, Cook’s, and André still get away with calling their offerings “California Champagne.” Don’t be fooled — these wines don’t come close to the real thing.

C ha mpag n e h as t hree main grape s More than 99 percent of Champagne’s vineyards are planted to Chardonnay, Pinot Noir or Pinot Meunier. Most champagnes are a blend of these three grapes. Pinot Noir, which accounts for 38 percent of Champagne’s plantings, is credited with providing backbone and structure and offering aromas and flavors of red berries. Pinot Meunier, which accounts for 32 percent of Champagne’s plantings, is credited with rounding out wines by offering moderate acidity, unctuous aromatics, and bright fruit flavours. Chardonnay, which

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accounts for 30 percent of Champagne’s plantings, is credited with providing finesses by imparting acidity, floral aromatics, and flavours of green apples, citrus fruits and hazelnuts. The four other permitted grape varieties — Arbane, Petit Meslier, Pinot Blanc, and Pinot Gris — together account for just 0.3 percent of vineyard plantings. These grapes are curiosities, to be sure, but some of Champagne’s hottest producers have embraced them in recent years — with stunning results.

Profile for GoodLife Magazine - Simcoe County

Wedding Trends 2017  

Wedding Trends is a magazine published once a year featuring local weddings and resources as well as a 9 page planner to help future brides...

Wedding Trends 2017  

Wedding Trends is a magazine published once a year featuring local weddings and resources as well as a 9 page planner to help future brides...

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