The legendary monk Dom Pierre Pérignon (1638-1715) of the Order of the Benedictines (incidentally the same life dates as King Louis XIV) entered the Abbaye Saint Pierre d'Hautvillers in 1668 in the function of cellerar (economic officer). This abbey was located in the département of Marne, the heartland of Champagne, in the midst of vineyards on a hill near Paris. Due to its central location, the monastery and the surrounding vineyards were repeatedly the victims of devastation and destruction by marching armies. Two decades before Pérignon's entry, the Thirty Years' War had ended, bringing a decline in viticulture throughout Europe from which many areas have not recovered to this day. But it was at this time that Champagne began its great revival as a very special wine-growing region. The area of Aÿ, even today the most famous wine town in the region, was already then considered a byword for excellent wines and was synonymous with high quality for the whole region.
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