The Champagne region is one of the most popular wine regions in France. It is the only place in the world where Champagne can be produced. Every year thousands of travellers head to Reims and Epernay on amazing Champagne experiences where they visit cellars and take part in tastings. To help you learn more about Champagne, I have put together a list of more than 25 fun and interesting facts about Champagne.
Here are more than 25 interesting facts about Champagne or the Champagne region:
Table of Contents
⏳ Travelling to Champagne and short on time?
🛏️ Accommodation: Hôtel La Villa Eugene and Grand Hôtel Des Templiers or you can check my article on the best hotels in the Champagne region.
🗺️ Experiences: Getyourguide (tours), Viator (tours), and Rue des Vignerons (specialises in wine tastings and tours).
📍 Recommended excursions:
🍷 Champagne and Family-Run Wineries Tour
🍾 Champagne Veuve Clicquot or Champagne Moët & Chandon tour and tastings
🚲 From Reims Full day Electric bike Champagne and lunch
You can also read my article on the best champagne tasting tours.
💰 Save Money by getting the Reims Pass which includes public transport, a free guided tour, entrance to the museums in Reims, and discounts in Champagne houses. Read here about the best things to do in the Champagne region.
✈️ Transport can be booked via Omio.
📞 Stay connected and save on data via Airalo
Champagne as we know it was invented in 1668
Champagne was invented in 1668. It was Dom Perignon who started with the production of sparkling wine in the region. He also invented the second fermentation which gives the drink its amazing bubbles.
Champagne is named after the region, not a town or a city
There is no town, village or city that is called Champagne. The sparkling wine is named after the region. There are, however, quite a few amazing villages and towns you can visit in the Champagne region including Hautvillers and Epernay.
Champagne is a protected product
Champagne is a produced product under the Geographical indication protection which means that only sparkling wine produced in the Champagne Region can legally be named Champagne. It is true that the grapes can be grown all over France – as long as the wine itself was produced in Champagne. Other examples of protected products are, for instance, Parma ham or even Darjeeling tea.
Champagne contains fewer calories than red and white wine
Champagne has overall fewer calories in a 750ml bottle than red or white wine. It is true that the calorie count differs by brand and even grape, but there are about 600 calories in a 750ml bottle of Champagne while there are just over 650 calories in a bottle of red or white wine. As if we needed another reason to switch to Champagne!
Champagne is the coldest wine region in France
Champagne is located in the North-East of France. It is the coldest wine region in France with an average annual temperature of only 11 degrees celsius. Sure, it gets pretty cold in winter in Alsace, but due to the relatively warm summers, the average daily temperature of the Alsace wine region is no less than 16 degrees celsius!
The growing area of the Champagne Region is only double the size of San Francisco
One of the reasons why Champagne is relatively expensive is because the growing area of the Champagne region is pretty small. There are only 34.300 hectares of vineyards in the Champagne region which is about double the size of San Francisco. Luckily the grapes used in Champagne do not have to be grown in the Champagne region. Many Champagne houses have vineyards in other parts of the country or work together with growers in Bordeaux or the Pays d’Oc.
Every year over 300 million bottles of Champagne are produced
The Champagne region produces about 300 million bottles of sparkling wine every year. France’s most famous wine country exports about 180 million bottles while the other 120 million bottles are sold to tourists or for local consumption.
The most expensive bottle of Champagne will set you back $2.07 million
If you are looking to splash out you will be impressed to know that the most expensive bottle of Champagne ever made is 2013 Taste of Diamonds and that it will cost you no less than $2.07 million. This price tag is due to the fact that the logo of the bottle is made from 18-carat gold and that it is embellished with a 19-carat white diamond. The second most expensive bottle of Champagne is 2013 Armand de Brignac Rose 30-Litre Midas which will set you back $275,000.
There are 49 million bubbles in one bottle of Champagne
Ever wondered how many bubbles there are in a bottle of Champagne? About 49 million! The bubbles in a glass of Champagne emerge at approximately 30 bubbles per second.
A Champagne Cork flies at 24.8 miles/hour when popped
When you pop a Champagne cork, that cork will fly at about 24.8 miles per hour (that is 39.91km/h) through the room. Due to the build up of gas in the bottle, there is a lot of pressure. When the pressure is relieved the cork can pop and fly away. This is also the reason why the cork on a Champagne bottle is put in place with a wire cage!
Champagne was discovered by accident
Like so many other amazing drinks and foods, Champagne was discovered by accident. In fact, the bubbles in the sparkling wine were often seen as making the wine inferior meaning that the wine would be thrown out. It wasn’t until the British got a taste for the sparkling wine and Dom Perignon perfected the Methode Champenoise the drink as we know and love was born.
Champagne can be made from a range of grapes
Many think champagne is made from one kind of grape – which is not true. Champagne can be made from a range of grapes including Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier.
The UK is the second biggest consumer of Champagne
Brits love Champagne. They are the second biggest consumers of Champagne after France. When looking at the number of bottles of Champagne per person we see that the Belgians are the second largest consumers. The French consume about 2.7 bottles of Champagne per person per year while the Belgians follow in second place with 1 bottle of Champagne per person per year.
Marilyn Monroe bathed in Champagne
Superstar Marilyn Monroe has bathed at least once in a large bath of Champagne. Her biographer wrote that no less than 350 bottles of Champagne were used to fill up the bathtub. Talking about a dream come true!
People at Wimbledon on average consume about 28.000 bottles of Champagne
We have talked about the British People’s love for Champagne, but you probably didn’t know that over 28.000 bottles of Champagne get sold at Wimbledon every single year. This fancy tennis event is known to attract stars and rich people from all over the world so this fact is probably not such a shocker.
Champagne was used as shoe polish
If you were a dandy high society lad in England of the 19th century, chances are you would have used Champagne to polish your boots. The sparkling wine was praised for how easy it did away with grime and how it left your boots sparkling like new!
Hein rich Medicus holds the record for longest recorded flight of a Champagne Cork
In 1988 Hein Rich Medicus set the record for longest recorded flight of a Champagne cork. He was able to pop his cork 54 metres or 177 feet. The record was set at Woodbury Vineyards Winery with a bottle on room temperature at 1.22 m from the ground.
Melchizedek is the largest bottle of Champagne in the world
Are you a big fan of Champagne? You might want to look into buying a Melchizedek. The Melchizedek is the largest size of Champagne bottle. It can hold up to 40 standard bottles of Champagne which equates to 30 litres of sparkling wine or 240 glasses.
Moët & Chandon are the world’s largest producers of Champagne
The largest producers of Champagne are Moët & Chandon. This famous Champagne house makes no less than 26 million bottles a year. Their flagship Champagne is Dom Perignon. It is named after the monk who invented Champagne in the 17th century in Hautvillers.
Mimosa is the most popular Champagne cocktail
The Mimosa is the world’s most famous and most popular Champagne cocktail. A Mimosa is a cocktail consisting of Champagne, orange juice and depending on who you ask, some Cointreau. Even though the cocktail was invented in Paris, Mimosa’s are often drunk during brunches in the USA. A Champagne cocktail that is often drunk in France is the French 75 which consists of gin, Champagne, lemon juice, and a bit of sugar. If you want to learn more about famous French drinks, you can read my article here.
You can open a Champagne bottle with a sword
One of the coolest ways to open a Champagne bottle has to be via Sabrage. This technique has you open the bottle of Champagne by slicing off the neck with a sabre or sword. It is said that this technique was made popular by the officers of Napoleon’s cavalry. Napoleon and his officers were known to drink lots of Champagne and they used their sabres to celebrate. Sabrage is still very popular and you can even take Sabrage workshops in the Champagne region!
The Champagne coupe was modelled after the breast of Marie Antoinette
Champagne can be drunk out of three different kinds of glasses: the flute, the white wine glass, and the coupe. The coupe was especially popular in the 1920’s. The coupe is believed to be modelled after the breast of Marie Antoinette. She was the last queen of France.
Champagne should be served at a temperature of between 8°C and 10°C (46°F and 50°F)
Many believe Champagne should be served ice cold. This could not be further from the truth. Champagne should be served between 8°C and 10°C (46°F and 50°F). Too cold and the Champagne loses its flavour and boldness, too warm and the Champagne becomes flatt and tasteless.
Keeping a metal spoon in your Champagne bottle does NOT preserve carbonation
You have probably heard that if you put a little spoon handle first into a Champagne bottle, it preserves carbonation, keeping your Champagne nicer for longer. Well, this turns out to be a myth! The best way to preserve your Champagne in the fridge is by using a wine stopper or its cap.
Barbe Nicole Ponsardin was the first woman to run a Champagne House
Although Veuve Clicquot was founded in 1772 by Philippe Cliquot, it wasn’t until his daughter in law Barbe Nicole Ponsardin took over that the Champagne House started on its path as one of the most important Champagne houses in the world. Barbe Nicole Ponsardin was the very first woman to run a Champagne house. She was incredibly smart and very driven. She also riddling table which is a device that improves the clarity and quality of the Champagne.
The oldest bottle of Champagne dates from 1780
The world’s oldest bottle of Champagne dates back from 1780. It was found in a shipwreck in the Baltic Sea. The bottle was thought to be a part of the cargo of the ship. This centuries old bottle of Champagne was sold at auction for about €50,000.
French champagne house Perrier-Jouet however, claims the oldest bottle of Champagne currently in existence is the Perrier-Jouet vintage of 1825.
Lieze Neven is a globetrotting travel writer and expat currently based in Nepal. With a passion for exploration, she has lived in Dubai, the UK, and Belgium, alongside her international teacher husband. Her parents live in France and she tries to visit Paris at least once a year. Together, they travel the world looking for the best hotels, experiences and food locations have to offer!