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Champagne, France

            Champagne, lying to the east of the Paris region, is one of the great historic provinces of France. The region of Champagne is known to the world for producing the most famous sparkling wines. Champagne is the only region that has the "specific terroir to grow the three major grapes to make champagne: pinot noir, pinot meunier, and chardonnay" ("The Champagne Terroir"). There are five major growing regions in Champagne: "Montagne de Reims, Cote de Blancs, Vallee de la Marne, Aube, and Cote de Sezanne" ("The Champagne Terroir"). Champagne contains certain wine regulations and laws, is the only region that has the terroir to create the infamous Champagne, as well as containing wineries, wines and vintages.
             Towards the end of the 19th century and beginning of the 20th century, vineyards in Champagne were completely wiped out due to a phylloxera epidemic. Phylloxera being pest known to grapevines, feed on the roots and leaves of the grapevines, eventually cutting off the flow of water and nutrients to the vine. Champagne growers and houses eventually decided to join forces and create the Association Viticole Champenoise (AVC) in 1898, also known as the Wine-growing Association of Champagne. Their main purpose was to restore their vineyards by removing all the phylloxera, to research and experiment, as well as trying new techniques for winemaking. In 1919, what used to be roughly 60,000 hectare vineyard, now decreased to a 12,000 hectare vineyard (Recognition of the Champagne Appellation). On July 22, 1927, a law was passed defining the boundaries of Champagne production. This law also established the first Champagne quality rules. The only grapes that were authorized in the growing and production of Champagne were and are Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and Pinot Meunier. Chardonnay is a white grape usually grown at the Cote de Blancs; it gives the wine a floral aroma as well as mineral undertones.

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