Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin


The Clicquot Champagne House was founded in 1772, when Philippe Clicquot-Muiron, who dealt principally in textiles and finance, decided to transform a certain number of vineyards owned nearby Bouzy and Ambonnay into a wine business.

In 1801, he retired and handed control to his son Francois, at that time already married to Nicole-Barbe Ponsardin.

They led the business together until 1805 when Francois at just 30 died. His widow (veuve in French) Ponsardin decided to take the family business in hand, becoming one of the first business women in a world predominantly dominated by men.

Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin showed a great business acumen, breaking the Russian market in a moment when the reign was considered lost in Europe, thrown into turmoil by Napoleon and his ambitions. In 1811, as Napoleon’s blockades fell, she dispatched a consignment of 110,000 bottles throughout Europe, 25,000 of which for Russia.

In 1816 with the assistance of her Cellar Master, Antoine de Müller, the brilliant Dame invented the first ridding table, a process that continues to be used today as it is a crucial step in the disgorgement, the clarification of champagne.

Thanks to this new technique, champagne would no longer require decanting before serving or being left in the glass for the sediment to settle.

In 1828 the company fell into a financial crisis but thanks to Eduoard Werlé, a wealthy employee of the company who paid off the firm’s debts, the company could make it and Werlé was made business partner, leading the House as financial chief from 1841, when Madame Nicole-Barbe retirement’s until her death, in 1866, at the age of 89.

The Werlé family, Edouard and his son Alfred, ran the business in the following years developing it further: they acquired new plots of vines and in 1877 they began utilizing a yellow label for the wines, an unusual color for champagne at the time.

They registered this same label under the trademark “Veuve Clicquot P. Werlé” Yellow Label as the Werlè family always recognized the great importance of the work done by Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin.

In 1972, 200 years after its foundation, the House launched the prestigious cuvée “La Grande Dame”, as the Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin used to be named in the region.

In 1987 the House became part of the LVMH-Moet Hennessy, where it remains today, headed up by President Jean-Marc Gallot, who previously managed another great Champagne House part of LVMH: RUINART.  

Today the House produces an estimated 19 million bottles per year, making it the second largest in champagne only after MOËT & CHANDON (also part of LVMH). 

Veuve Clicquot Vineyard

The House’s own vineyards cover 393 hectares of land that spread over Champagne and that provides 20% of the supplies. It includes 12 of the 17 Grands Crus and 18 of the 44 Premiers Crus and boasts an average rating close to 96%.

The vineyard is planted with 50% Chardonnay planted on the Côte des Blancs, 45% Pinot Noir on the Montagne de Reims and 5% Meunier on the Montagne Ouest (a sector of the Montagne de Reims) and in the Saint-Thierry basin northwest of Reims.

The vines are mostly planted on the hillside where the soil is the shallowest and exposure to the sun is at a maximum.

Veuve Clicquot Style

VEUVE CLICQUOT’s winemaking team, guided by Cellar Master Dominique Demarville (10th Cellar Master, appointed in 2011), continues to follow the motto of the House set by MadameClicquote “one quality only, the finest”.

For this, every precaution is taken to ensure that the grapes remain intact right up to the moment of pressing, and a network of pressing centers scattered in each sector of Champagne cuts the distance and time between the vine and the presses to a minimum.

After the pressing, only the juice from the cuvée (the first – and most noble – pressing) is used, blended using approximately fifty different crus, predominantly of Pinot Noir and with a use of between 25% and 40% of reserve wines.

It Brut non-vintage Yellow Label emblematic cuvée is aged for a minimum of 36 months and vintage wines for a minimum of five years.

All VEUVE CLICQUOT champagnes receive a very lightly dosage, allowing the House’s wines to fully express the distinctive style of VEUVE CLICQUOT that Demarville refers to as “power, aromatic intensity, but without heaviness, with freshness and a silky texture.”

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