The French ruler Louis XIV (1638-1715), known as the "Sun King", represents the height of absolutist monarchy in Europe. His main goal was the complete centralisation of all power in his person, which is manifested by the saying "L'état c'est moi" (The state is me). He surrounded himself with the most outstanding men of his era in the fields of administration, economy, construction, military, art and science. The royal house owned large vineyards in all the important wine-growing regions, traditionally for example in Aÿ, the most important commune in Champagne. The unstoppable rise of Champagne also began during the reign of Louis XIV. The famous Benedictine monk Dom Pierre Pérignon (1638-1715), who made a decisive contribution to the development of this sparkling wine, interestingly has the same life dates as Louis XIV.