The Art and Business of Champagne


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About the Book

When people raise their glasses in celebratory toasts, few are aware of all the work behind the fizz. Here is a book to open their eyes with an inside look—from the vineyard to the marketplace—at the world of champagne.
Just like good wine, the book begins with the grapes: variety, growing season, harvesting and pressing method. While not attempting to be the definitive work on champagne making, this volume does enumerate all the steps and decisions that go into producing a quality champagne. Blending, bottling, aging, fermenting and storage are also discussed. With a view to practicality, the author—himself a champagne manufacturer—looks at the marketing and business concerns of champagne, including the necessity of balancing quality and timely production. Since, by definition, champagne comes only from Champagne, France, a brief history of and visitor’s guide to this region is also included. The final chapters look at vintages from 1900 to 2003 as well as the various families who make it their business to produce some of the world’s finest wines.

About the Author(s)

The late Dan Ginsburg lived in Washington, D.C., but was a part-time resident of Ay, France. He was the president and majority owner of Champagne de Meric, the only American-owned winery in Champagne.

Bibliographic Details

Dan Ginsburg
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 242
Bibliographic Info: photos, tables, appendices, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2006
pISBN: 978-0-7864-2225-8
eISBN: 978-1-4766-0821-1
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Preface      1

Introduction: Champagne Basics      5

Part I. Lessons of an American in Champagne

1. Choose Your Teachers Well      13

2. It’s All in the Grapes      19

3. Respect Tradition      38

4. Patience Is a Virtue      56

5. The Business of Champagne Is Business      63

6. The World Won’t Beat a Path to Your Door Just Because You Make a Better
Champagne      70

7. Use the Home Field Advantage      76

8. How to Make a Small Fortune in the Champagne Business      86

Part II. The World of Champagne

9. The History of Champagne      93

10. Past Harvests in Champagne      103

11. Key Village Profiles      128

12. If You Run Out of Champagne De Meric      148

13. A Visitor’s Guide to the Champagne Region      190

14. Life in Champagne      198

15. The Future      205

Appendix I. Champagne Surface Planted by Department by Grape Variety      211

Appendix II. Eight Ways to Maximize Your Enjoyment of Champagne      212

Appendix III. Sample Letters to Champagne Producers      221

Appendix IV. Contact Information for Hotels, Restaurants, and Tourist

Bibliography      227

Index      229