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.
Champagne-making is the highly refined art of blending base wines into a whole that is greater than the sum of its parts. These component wines come from different grape varieties (the white grape Chardonnay and the red varieties Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier) and from different villages and vineyards. And because only four or five harvests per decade...
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