Wednesday, May 02, 2007

The region of Champagne, 100 miles east of Paris

Originally uploaded by Merijn Neeleman.
The Champagne wine region (archaic English: Champany) is a historic province in the northeast of France, says Wikipedia. The area is best known for the production of the sparkling white wine that bears the region's name. The region is about 100 miles (160 km) east of Paris. The towns of Reims and Épernay are the commercial centers of the area.

Despite the frequency of military conflicts in this area, the region developed a reputation for quality wine production in the early Middle Ages and was able to continue that reputation as the region's producers began making sparkling wine with the advent of the great Champagne houses in the 17th & 18th century.

The classic example of a Sparkling Wine is Champagne, but many other examples are produced in other countries and regions, such as Cava in Spain, Asti in Italy (the generic Italian term for sparkling wine being Spumante) and Cap Classique in South Africa. In some parts of the world, the word “champagne” is used as a synonym for sparkling wine, although laws in most countries reserve the word champagne for a specific type from the Champagne region of France.

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