By: Remy Hetreau
Date of Original: 1954 (published) France
Original Size: 25.5 x 31 inches (64.75 x 78.75 cm)
This is a fine print reproduction of a marvelous promotional travel poster from 1954. It was part of a series of maps commissioned by the Comite National de Propagande en Faveur du Vin to celebrate and promote the legendary wine regions of France. Remy Hetreau, French illustrator and print maker took on this task, creating a set of magnificent posters highlighting local wineries of eight different regions.
The title is contained in a ribbon cartouche at the top of the map. Two maidens hold open a rolled map of the Champagne province of France, located in the northeast section of the country some 150 kilometers due east of Paris. Grape vines intertwine with baroque style scrollwork that surrounds the map on all sides. The map identifies nearly one hundred vineyards located between and around the towns of Troyes, Epernay, Chalons Sur Marne, and Reims, all of which are marked with white grapes.
Champagne is the region where the sparkling white wine first originated and today, EU law and the laws of most countries reserve the term "Champagne" exclusively for wines that come from this region. The first recorded export of wine from the region was received in 1518 by Henry VIII's chancellor located in England. Production would increase dramatically during the 19th century from 300,000 bottles a year in 1800 to 20 million bottles in 1850. Over time, the wine increasingly became a symbol of celebration and in 1999 a record 327 million bottles was set in preparation for the celebrations of the new millennium.