RUSSIA: The Stars Fell Down

When he first sipped champagne in the late 17th Century the Benedictine monk Dom Pérignon cried rapturously: "Oh, come quickly! I'm drinking stars!"

Like most of history's great inventions, champagne was probably not created suddenly by one man; it was slowly bubbled into being. But Pérignon, who was head cellarer at the Abbey of Hautvillers in northern France, is generally considered history's greatest champagne pioneer. Almost singlehanded, he founded France's flourishing champagne industry. Under his guidance, the making of champagne became at once a science and an art. Vintaging operations each fall...

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