The first people to plant vineyards in the northeast part of France now known as Champagne was the romans, and they did it as early as, if not earlier than, the 5th century. The churches owned the vineyards and the monks used them to make wine to use in the sacrament of the Eucharist, the wine made in Champagne became well known before medieval times, it was even used in the coronation festivities of the French king.
A rivalry between the people in Champagne and their southern neighbors of Burgundy existed, with the climate in Champagne being harder to plant vineyards in where the grapes would struggle just to become ripe and have higher levels of acidity and lower sugar levels than Burgundian grapes. However, the people of Champagne did not think of this as a setback as much as they thought of it as a challenge and in the end their lighter-bodied wine would truly rival its neighbors.
It was not until the English scientist and physician Christopher Merret tried to add sugar to a finished wine to create a second fermentation process which is still crucial in making the world-renown drink we still in modern day simply call “Champagne”. This means that, contrary to what many people believe, the Benedictine monk known as Dom Perignon did not invent Champagne, in fact, Christopher Merret presented a paper with details on what is now known as méthode champenoise in 1662, which is over 40 years before it was believed that the famous monk invented the method.
Dom Perignon did make some additions to the drink though such as inventing the wire collar, also known as the muselet, which made it easier to hold the cork in place. Even though sparkling wine is made all over the world, most of the laws and regulations made around the drink has something to do with the name “Champagne” and it should be known that only when sparkling wine is made in the northeastern French territory of Champagne in accordance to Comité Interprofessionel du Vin de Champagne regulations.