Before you heard about it in Kanye West’s songs, Moet et Chandon was the drink of French kings, Russian tzars and Napoleon I himself. For as long as it’s been around—since 1743 to be exact—Moet has been the drink of the rich and famous.
But the truth is, Moet makes just as many low-grade bottlings as it does prestige cuvees. Its production is nothing short of enormous, totaling about 26,000,000 bottles per year. How, you ask? Moet owns over 1000 hectares of vines in Champagne
and employs several thousand workers. Of course, no one wants to hear about the regular stuff. It’s the Dom Pérignon we care about.
Named for the Benedictine monk who perfected the double-fermentation for creating champagne, Dom P, as it’s affectionately called, is remarkably suave, consistent and ageworthy, particularly for a luxury bottling made in large quantities—about 5,000,000 bottles per vintage made from 60% Chardonnay
and 40% Pinot Noir
On the business side, Moet et Chandon merged with cognac producer Jas Hennessey & Co. in 1971 and then with Louis Vuitton to create the largest luxury group in the world. So, unless you are friends with a famous rapper, better start saving.
France is the fountainhead of the grape varieties most craved by
North American wine drinkers: Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Pinot Noir,
Syrah, Chardonnay, and Sauvignon Blanc. In fact, these grapes are widely
referred to as "international" varieties because they have been planted and
imitated all over the world.
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