Tough Times for La Champagne & Champagne in the Early 20th Century

Jan 12, 2015 | IWINETC 2015 La Champagne, France, Wine Tourism Conference

Before Champagne could become what it is today it had to bear its share of suffering. Adding to its diminishing role as the global trade hub due to improving seafaring knowledge of Europeans, the late middle-ages brought the scourges of Hundred Years War. Over the next centuries the events of the French Wars of Religion and the Thirty Years Wars did not spare Champagne from the ravage. On the top of that the ongoing rivalry with Burgundy over the quality of wine seemed to lean in favour of Champagne’s southern neighbour.

It wasn’t until the 18th century that the tides turned but this time the fate of Champagne was exclusively tied to its wines. With the increasing production of white wines and technological advances the region was able to pioneer the market of sparkling wines leading to the ascension of Champagne Houses. The oldest one of these still in operation is Gosset founded in 1584. As the fashion spread and champagne conquered new countries and continents, the industrial revolution made the high volume quality controlled production possible.

Fort de La Pompelle - Reims©ACM-Coll.CDT Marne (27)Worldwide demand increased and the key players dealing with tight competition had to resolve to means that were actually fatal to the region. The so called “Champagne Riots” started in 1911 when the local growers could not stand to Champagne Houses financial expectations. The latter, not bound by appellation rules as today, started importing grapes even from abroad. The tensions and accusations arose followed by an eruption of violence and period of unrest that lasted until the outbreak of the I World War. The dispute ended with the government establishing the appellation which in turn guaranteed a level of prosperity for individual vineyards.

Monument Navarin - Souain Perthes les Hurlus©H. Mehault (2)But it was only after the nightmares of war that pillaged lands of Champagne once again that this fragile consensus could be reached. The cost was very high. To the substantial damage related to the event preceding the global conflict, one has to add the oblivion Champagne was the victim of as it became a playground of the world powers. City of Reims laid in ruins, its famous cathedral shattered and the fields and hills surrounding it were bruised beyond recognition. It would take many years for the region to stand back on its feet, but with a grand effort of its people Champagne managed  to rise to a position well deserved in the world of viticulture.

The 7th annual International Wine Tourism Conference, Exhibition and Workshop  2015 (IWINETC) will be held in the city of Reims. The Champagne-Marne Tourism Board, Comité Départemental du Tourisme de la Marne will be the premium sponsor for the event.

La Champagne to host iwinetc 2015

IWINETC is the leading global event for the wine and culinary tourism industry. IWINETC 2015 will provide, once again a unique opportunity to build essential contacts, discover a new destination and services key to the future of your business, expand your industry knowledge and maximise your return on time.

There are so many ways to participate at IWINETC 2015:

Keep up to date with the latest news from IWINETC on Twitter #iwinetc #champagne, Facebook and Linkedin

International Wine Tourism Conference (IWINETC)

Founded in Spain in 2009, the International Wine Tourism Conference (IWINETC) has now accommodated over 2,500 wine & culinary tourism professionals in 45 different countries throughout the world.

Though opportunities for international networking, professional development, and world class industry information you will find that our conferences and workshops offer unique ways to discover grape escape destinations around the world.

IWINETC is the destination for those involved in wine, gastronomy and tourism. So come along and share your point of view and gain from the experience of others.


Tel: +34.93.897.70.48

Wine Events Worldwide.
Vino y Sol, 1 · 08779
La Llacuna, Barcelona-Spain


Join the IWINETC Network

Stay up to date on conference happenings


Join the IWINETC Network
Stay up to date on conference happenings