Surprising #DidYouKnow Facts about Champagne

2nd September 2016


Champagne holds centuries of history and a lifetime of education for any wine loving enthusiast. There are thousands of labels to taste and enjoy and 100,000’s of people work within the industry sector internationally. With these kind of stats behind it, Champagne can no doubt offer out some very surprising and interest facts so here is a small selection to be sure to raise an interested eyebrow or two:

  • The village of Champagne is not in fact in France. Famously hitting the headlines for it’s battle against the French in recent years, the small village of Champagne in Switzerland, who themselves produced their own wines since 1657, we ruled to withdraw the name of their village from the wines they produced which came in to effect back in 2004. At the time there was a fair bit of media interest on this story, most accusing the French of bullying tactics against this small village who’d been around since 885AD!
  • Veuve Clicquot. One of the most famous brands of Champagne, the famous orange label, Veuve Clicquot, was renamed when the founder of the company (Philippe Clicquot-Muiron) passed away. His wife, Madame Barbe-Nicole Ponsardin Clicquot, who then took over the business decided to change the name to ‘Veuve Clicquot’ as the word ‘veuve’ is ‘widow’ in French – ie Widow Clicquot was the new name.
  • Keep this secret in the dark. Champagne can start to lessen in quality if exposed to light and is mostly stored in dark locations. Many cellars, especially those in the Champagne region, will be dark and damp places where even a flash on a camera will be frowned upon. If you are picking up a bottle of Champagne from your local store then be sure to reach for the back of the shelf or even better ask to be given one from the store room directly from the shipping box to ensure you are not missing out on quality!
  • 1 Billion Bottles are stored away. The Champagne region is actually not that big, approximately 75,000 acres in all, yet hidden deep under ground in many mazes of old wine cellars are an endless supply of bubbly. It is said that there are close to one billion bottles (that is around 3 years worth of global consumption) stored in the Champagne region, some aging themselves to soon be sold and others vintages gaining years for the more serious wine buyers. So, there is approximately a glass of Champagne for every person on this planet stored in the wine region, 1 billion bottles with 7 glasses of bubbly in each bottle!
  • Winston Churchill sank 40,000+ bottles of Champagne. Many will know that Winston Churchill was a man who liked his Champagne and that Paul Roger was his favourite, some may also know that he had his very own special ‘one pint’ bottles made for him that he enjoyed each and every day along with his whiskies and cognacs. There is even a special Paul Roger cuvée named after him, but did you know that is it rumoured that between the years of 1908 and 1965, Winston Churchill drank an estimated 40,000+ bottles of Champagne!

Christopher Walkey

Co-founder of Glass of Bubbly. Journalist and author focused on Champagne & Sparkling Wines and pairing them with foods.