To understand how the region's still wine became sparkling Champagne, head across the Marne to Hautvillers. Here Dom Pérignon (1638–1715)—a blind monk who was reputedly blessed with exceptional taste buds and a heightened sense of smell—invented Champagne as everyone knows it by using corks for stoppers and blending wines from different vineyards. Legend has it that upon his first sip he cried out, "Come quickly, I am drinking the stars." Dom Pérignon's simple
tomb, in a damp, dreary Benedictine abbey church (now owned by Moët et Chandon), is a forlorn memorial to the man behind one of the world's most exalted libations.
Épernay, 51200, France