1911 Beverages de luxe

W mes


of France

KODUCING some 2,000 différent varieties of wine, the most noted Brandy distilled from wine, and varions liqueurs based on wine, France stands to-day foremost among the nations as a wine country. Its vineyards are innnmerable.

It lias not attained this point of supremacy so easily, how- ever, as the story of the vine in France pictnres many difficul- ties and hardships, the vineyardists struggling against ail nian- ner of discouragement. In fact, throughout the entire history of this country, the story of wine-making is closely interwoven, and, at some of the most critical times in its history, the part played by the vine was important. Yet, strange to say, the vine was not native to France, but, according to best authority, was introduced there during the sixth century, B. C. It was with the advent of the Christian Church, however, that the planting of vineyards became universal in France, and its more glorious history then began. Indeed, the monks are largely responsible for the popularity of wine drinking, making and seliing it them- selves, and have given to the world some of the more popular ^ arieties. But, to-day, the position of France as a wine-making conn- try is unquestioned, and this is one of the country's most im- portant industries, and is so recognized to such an extent that the Government has become paternalistic in regard to it. For example, a law adopted December 17, 1908, established the boundaries of the région from whose grapes the wine produced is alone permitted to be called Champagne, and, during the présent year, a new law has.been proposed to further guarantee the origin of Champagne wine in the région whose boundaries were fixed in the former law. The soil of France is varied in the différent sections, which are known as "departments," and in each of thèse departments wines of entirely différent character are produced. Those which are most generally and favorably known are Champagne, Sau- ternes, Clarets, and Burgundies. As other articles in this book are devoted to Champagne, Sauternes, and Clarets, it is un- necessary to dwell upon them at length here. The story of Champagne, however, bears ont what has been said about the important part played by the Church in developing the making

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