Champagne is a historic province in northeastern France. The name derives from the Latin campania, meaning”plain.” The county of Champagne was incorporated into France in 1314. Champagne now comprises thedepartments of Ardennes, Marne, Aube, and Haute-Marne and parts of Aisne, Seine-et-Marne, Yonne, and Meuse. It is a generally arid plateau that slopes toward Paris. Its strategic location has made it a battleground whenever France has been invaded from the east. The Falaise de l’Ile-de-France, a limestone ridge, borders Champagne on the west, separating it from the Ile-de-France, core of the Paris Basin. Grapes grown on the lower slopes of the Falaise are made into the famous sparkling wine in the miles of cellars carved out of the chalk under REIMS and Epernay.