UMC - Grandes Marques et Maisons de Champagne

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The Champagne region holds particular significance for French history. It was originally part of the Roman province of Gallia Belgica, which in the 5th Century became the seat of the Merovingian dynasty that ousted the Romans. At its head was the Frankish King Clovis, whose baptism in Rheims established the precedent for royal anointing in Rheims cathedral that ended with the last King of France, Charles X. In medieval times, Champagne was the venue of great annual trading fairs. In World War I it was the bloody battlefield of the Western Front, later coming to symbolise the reconciliation between France and Germany.
For 300 years the Champagne Houses have been adding to this exceptional heritage through the commissioning of architectural masterpieces that sing the praises of the King of Wines.

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Foudre Mercier


On 7 May 1889 the Foudre Mercier made its eagerly-awaited entrance at the Exposition Universelle in Paris. Drawn by a team of 24 oxen all the way from Epernay, Mercier’s giant Champagne barrel was greeted as a worthy rival to the Eiffel Tower and received a rousing reception from the audience.