The French chemist Jean-Antoine Claude Chaptal, Comte de Chanteloup (1756-1832) became Minister of the Interior and Agriculture under Emperor Napoleon (1769-1821). He introduced the metric system of weights and measures in France and invented the method of producing sugar from sugar beet. Towards the end of the 18th century, the French Revolution led to a total decline in viticulture and wine adulteration was commonplace. Chaptal fought against it, but supported an already older idea of the chemist Pierre-Joseph Macquer (1718-1784). In 1801, as the competent minister of agriculture, he allowed the must to be enriched with sugar in solid form (cane or beet sugar) or concentrated grape must in order to increase the alcohol content.
Chaptal became famous through two documentaries on winemaking entitled "Traite théorice et pratique sur la culture de la vigne" (1801) and "Art de faire, de gouverner, et de perfectionner les vins" (1807). In the latter, he already used 60 terms relating to the tasting of a wine (see also under wine address). Through numerous experiments, Chaptal also gained important knowledge about bottle fermentation in the production of champagne. The addition of dry sugar is usually called chaptalisation after him. It should not be confused with wet sugaring, which was developed later by the German chemist Ludwig Gall (1791-1863) and is therefore also called gallisation.
Picture: Gemeinfrei, Link