« Saulte-Bouchon » (« jumping cork » in old French) was the name of this sparkling wine when the 17th century monks discovered it originally. It was only much later on, when it had become popular in all the Champagne province, that it lost this meaningful name.
8 centuries ago, Saint Bernard de Clairvaux, founder of this famous Cistercian abbey located in the Aube department, had the idea to plant the first vineyard of Aube. Saint Bernard then decided to build the Colombé-le-Sec cellar to mature his wines, near Bar-sur-Aube. This cellar is still in good conditions today and is a great evidence of this glorious past.
In 1975, the « Commanderie » was born in this good city of Troyes. It actually got the seal of the Count Thibaud IV de Champagne. Every year, during the intronisations, new members become Knights of the Saulte-Bouchon Commanderie.
To the sound of the trumpets, dressed magnificently in blue and gold velvet, the Commanderie and its president the Grand-Master put the new candidates to the test of truth: the « deflowering » of the bottle, at the order of the « Bouchonnier » (responsible for the cork).
Once the glass is filled by the candidate under the control of the « Grand Bouteiller » (responsible for the bottle) of the « Saulte-Bouchon », along with the « Porte-Flûtes » (glass holder) and the « Grand Echanson », the disciple must watch, smell and taste the wine. Then, he has to do the oath of allegiance.
The Chancellor then comes closer and place a traditional symbol before him: an imposing Methuselah.
Then, the Constable unrolls a parchment, that the new Knights must read aloud. They must promise to wear medals and cords to the ceremonies organized in the glory of champagne and for other meetings, and to remain faithful to the wine of Champagne, « King of the wines and wine of the Kings ».