Sommeliers Choice: Veuve Clicquot Champagne

The story of the Wine House Veuve Clicquot starts with Mrs. Barbe-Nicole Ponsardin who made the company to what it is today.

In 1772 a banker and wool merchant Mister Phillippe Clicquot-Muiron started producing sparkling wine in the Champagne region of France. His son François Clicquot married Barbe-Nicole Ponsardin in 1798. They shared their passion of making Champagne and where actively present with the production of the Champagne. In 1805 François past away and gave the opportunity to 27 year old Barbe to take responsibility of the company.

Mrs. Barbin was the one that gave the name to the Champagne “Veuve Clicquot”, “Veuve” is French for “widow”. It was very unusual in that time as a woman to take the responsibility over a company but with the support of here family and father in law she was able to succeed.

During here time as the first female CEO she was very involved with the production of the Champagne; she even helped developing new Champagne production techniques. For instance the “table de remuage”(riddling table) to clarify the Champagne and innovated the very first blend of rosé Champagne.

During the Napoleonic Wars, Madame Clicquot made strides in establishing her wine in royal courts throughout Europe, notably that of Imperial Russia, thus becoming the first Champagne house to ship Champagne through the blockade to Russia in 1811.

As a female sommelier, I love telling the story of “The Grand Dame” of the Champagne. Next to a beautiful historical history it is a delicious glass of Champagne, which we use as our house Champagne. Next time you have a reason to celebrate, enjoy a glass of Veuve Clicquot and remember this historical lady.

Natasja Noorlander
Maître Restaurant Vinkeles

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