According to legend, Blanquette de Limoux (6) was the world's first sparkling wine, dating as far back as 1531. At the time, the monks of the Benedictine abbey of Saint-Hilaire, near Limoux in the Aude, were producing white wine in rather an unusual fashion - instead of using oak vats the wine was fermented in a glass flask, with a cork top which gave it a natural sparkle. Apparently, Dom Perignon passed through the valley on his way north from Spain, chanced on the abbey, stole the technique and passed it off as his own to the nobles of Champagne!

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