Moët & Chandon’s top cuvée honors the name of the person commonly referred to as the Father of Champagne: Dom Pérignon is credited by wine historians to be the creator of Champagne as we know it today, though one thing he didn’t create is the “bubbles.”
In fact, Dom Pierre Pérignon, a Benedictine monk and appointed treasurer of the Abbey of Hautvillers in 1668, spent his entire career trying to avoid the naturally occurring effervescence in the wines of Champagne. Through observation and experience, he concluded that the barrels containing wine made of red grapes (Pinot Meunier, Pinot Gris and Pinot Noir) were more stable in the spring when the warming temperatures made most of the white wines (Pinot Blanc and Chardonnay) re-fizz.
So in order to create the perfect still white wine, Dom Pérignon established the following rules: use red grapes to make white wine; limit the yields by severe pruning; harvest in the morning to keep the grapes cool and only press unbruised, healthy grapes to prevent color from the skins bleeding into the juice; and finally, press the grapes next to the vineyards (avoiding bruising during transportation) without de-stemming and using a wide-surface press for gentle pressure and small batches of grapes.
If Dom Pérignon was striving to make the perfect still wine, why is all Champagne today sparkling?
It was the marketplace who demanded it; the consumers in Paris and London couldn’t get enough of the lively bubbles.
But whether he was making a still or sparkling wine, Dom Pérignon knew how to make the best one, using the techniques he put in place. For that reason, the wines of the Abbey of Hautvillers became the most sought after and fetched the highest prices at the time and Dom Pérignon became a living legend.
In honor of Dom Pérignon and his legacy, the Champagne house of Moët & Chandon named their best wine after him.
Moët & Chandon Cuvée Dom Pérignon is a very special Champagne made from the highest quality grapes, using the best vinification techniques, resulting in one of the best Champagnes available.
A Champagne of this quality is meant for life's most momentous occasions. Celebrate your college graduate this month with a bottle of Dom Pérignon.
Atanas Nechkov, Wine & Spirits Sales Manager
Follow me on Twitter @abcwineatanas