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Blanquette de Limoux

world’s oldest bubbly

Blanquette De Limoux (1)

Blanquette de Limoux is popularly recognized as the poor man’s champagne. The Limouxins wouldn’t care to hear it put that way; they would point out that their Blanquette, made by the Benedictine monks in the nearby Abbaye de St-Hilaire, was the world’s first sparkling wine, first recorded in 1531 – long before anyone ever heard of Champagne.

Proper reliable bubbles, however, had to wait until the invention of bottles in the 18th century. Thomas Jefferson was a huge fan and ordered some 600 of them in the early 19th century. It was designated AOC back in 1938.

Monk tasting wine from a barrel

There are two kinds: golden 100% Mauzac AOP Blanquette de Limoux Méthode Ancestorale is made the ancient way: the must ferments until alcohol content reaches 5 to 6°, then under a waning moon it is bottled and put in the secrecy of the cellar, where it undergoes bottle fermentation and its alcohol content rises to 6 or 7°. 

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AOPs and some others



Text © Dana Facaros

Images by Iain Cameron, Pieter Kuiper on Wikimedia Commons