Champagne-Ardennes borders Ile-de-France in the south-west, the industrial areas of Lorraine in the east, and Belgium in the north. Its name comes from the Romans who called it Campania, meaning literally "Land of the Plains". Today these plains, mostly to the south of the rÃ©gion, are where vast quantities of cereals and maize are grown. Sugar beet is a major crop (the smell from the sugar beet refineries can be overpowering so do not consider buying a property anywhere near one!) and the rÃ©gion grows more wheat and cabbage than any other. But cabbage aside, it is of course better known for a much more glamorous crop: the white grape that has produced Champagne's eponymous sparkly wine since the days of Dom Perignon.
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