Veuve Clicquot Champagne
The remarkable Madame Clicquot (1777-1866) is often considered the first businesswoman of the modern era. Née Nicole-Barbe Ponsardin, she was widowed in 1805 at the age of 27. Veuve Clicquot ( Veuve means widow in French) defied every convention of the day to take the helm of her late husband’s small Champagne house. She enlisted help wisely, took astute risks and made important technological innovations (including the invention of remuage or riddling), leading the House to world renown. One of her most significant triumphs was sending a secret shipment of her Champagne to Russia in 1814 in defiance of Napoleon’s blockade–a great success.
Today the House of Veuve Clicquot is among the most prestigious Champagne firms. Its extensive vineyard holdings, many originally purchased by Madame Clicquot, stretch throughout the top-rated areas of the Champagne region and are unparalleled in size and quality. As in Mme Clicquot’s day, bottles age in the House’s vast, vaulted cellars in Reims, portions of which were constructed some 2,000 years ago by the Romans.