France: The Contribution of Monk Dom Pérignon

Dom Pierre Pérignon (c. 1638–14 September 1715) was a Benedictine monk who made important contributions to the production and quality of Champagne wine in an era when the region’s wines were predominantly still pink and red. Popular myths frequently, but erroneously, credit him with the invention of sparkling Champagne, which didn’t become the dominant style of Champagne until mid-19th century.

In his era the in-bottle refermentation that gives sparkling wine its sparkle was an enormous problem for winemakers. When the weather cooled off in the autumn, refermentation would sometimes keep fermentable sugars from being converted to alcohol. If the wine was bottled in this state, it became a literal time bomb. When the weather warmed in the spring, dormant yeast roused themselves and began generating carbon dioxide that would at best push the cork out of the bottle, and at worst explode, starting a chain reaction. Nearby bottles, also under pressure, would break from the shock of the first breakage, and so on, which was a hazard to employees and to that year’s production. Dom Pérignon thus tried to avoid refermentation. READ MORE

 

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s