As we’ve shown in the past there’s all sorts of interesting data related to the wine business available on the web. A lot of the data can be difficult to understand out of context, which is why we occasionally like to chart a set ourselves and explain what’s going on. When we came across a spreadsheet covering over 100 years of historical French wine data we were intrigued. The chart has a lot of ups and downs – which are really a lesson in wine history – as we’ve notated on the chart.

Charting Three Epic Collapses Of French Wine Production (1830 - 1938)

One interesting historical oddity: French wine production crashed to 10.8 million hectolitres in 1854 (that would be 285,305,817 gallons!), yet 1855 is the year most would associate with the world of wine during that decade. 1855 would be the year of the famous Bordeaux Wine Official Classification, created at Emperor Napoleon III’s request.

At VinePair, we’re also fascinated by the Emperor’s role in securing Champagne importer & accused Confederate spy, Champagne Charlie Heidsieck’s release from a Union prison during the US Civil War.