French monks were the first to bottle a sparkling form of wine called Champagne, named after the Champagne region of France. The method of making “mousse” (another name for bubbles) in a bottle was invented by the efforts of Frère Jean Oudart (1654 – 1742) and Dom Pierre Pérignon (1639 – 1715), Benedictine monks and cellarmasters at the respective abbeys of Saint-Pierre aux Monts de Châlons and Saint-Pierre d’Hautvillers.
The region of Champagne has a colder and shorter growing season. Champagne grapes had to be picked late in the year, with less time available for fermentation. During fermentation yeasts are used to convert the sugars of the grape juice into alcohol and cold winter temperatures stopped the process. The monks developed a method of making sparkling wine by using a second fermentation process that took place in the bottle during the following spring. The second fermentation created carbon-dioxide bubbles that are the sparkle of Champagne.
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