Champagne in World War I: Protecting French Terroir with Cynthia Coutu

Champagne in World War I: Protecting French Terroir with Cynthia Coutu


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Le champagne is a celebratory wine that marks special occasions, brings joy, represents elegance, and the finer things in life. When one thinks of le champagne, we think of happy times. Ironically, la Champagne is a region that is known for its harsh weather and bloody history. From the Romans who invaded Gaul at the beginning of the first century, to the Nazis who pillaged the cellars in the twentieth century, many a soldier has marched through the Champagne hillsides during the last 2000 years.

During World War One the Champagne region lost 50% of its population, and 40% of its vineyards were destroyed. This conversation will look at how the geography changed as the region was transformed into a battlefield during the wartime years. We’ll also discuss how the Champagne Houses became refuges during the conflict, and the role women played in order to maintain the production of champagne.

Join Cynthia Coutu, an expert on Champagne, in order to remember the lives lost, and also learn about the inspirational resilience of the Champenois.

Cynthia is Canadian and has been living in Paris for more than 25 years. She obtained a B.A. in Fine Arts (Photography) in Canada, then came to France to do a Masters in Art History at the Sorbonne. Her love of wine and cheese kept her in France. She studied wine at L’Académie du Vin and L’École du Vin, and is certified Wine and Spirits Education Trust Level 3 with Merit. She then specialized in champagne - the king of wines and the wines of kings! She teaches champagne masterclasses, judges wine contests, hosts champagne tasting events, and loves taking people to visit her favourite champagne producers. She was voted Best Wine Tasting in Paris by Expatriates Magazine. She is currently researching the role of women in the history of Champagne for a book project.

This conversation is not suitable for children under age 16

90 minutes, including a 30 minute Q&A.

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