Champagne's fame and success is, of course, the product of many complex factors. And yet there are three key reasons of which we can be reasonably certain. First, the all-important bubbles, which make it stand out from less "exciting" wines. Second, the high prices that Champagne commands, which make it feel somewhat exclusive and special. Third, two centuries of clever marketing to a willing and highly receptive consumer base.
Located at a northern latitude of 49°N, the Champagne region lies at the northern edge of the world's vineyard-growing areas, with lower average temperatures than any other French wine region. In this kind of cool climate, the growing season is rarely warm enough to ripen grapes to the levels required for standard winemaking. Even in temperate years, Champagne's grapes still bear the hallmark acidity of a marginal climate, and it was only the discovery of secondary fermentation that provided a wine style capable of harnessing – and even embracing – this tartness.