An invisible line separates the backwater town of Ventelay, France, from the bubbly opulence of Champagne.
Over there, vineyards of the famed sparkling wine stretch for dozens of miles to the south and east, enriching property owners through the fruits of some of the world’s most valuable agricultural land.
On the other side of the line, vineyards are forbidden. Ventelay sits just beyond Champagne wine country, as decreed by the French government. Farmers scrape together a modest living from grain and cattle.
“Just look,” said Jean-Pierre Boquet, who raises wheat, beets and cows. He nodded at a boarded-up building across the street from his house. “You won’t see that in the vineyards,” he said. “The wine country is impeccable.”
Continue reading: The Wall Street Journal