Monday, 22 June 2015

The History of Veuve Clicquot

When you buy a bottle of Veuve Clicquot, you receive a vintage of the highest quality and character. To determine why, the Ideal Wine Company explains the fascinating history of this extraordinary Champagne maker.

The founding of Veuve Clicquot

Veuve Clicquot is a Champagne house that was founded by Philippe Clicquot in 1772. According to the Veuve Cliquot website, he decided to use his prominent family’s vineyards to establish a Champagne brand whose wares would “cross all borders.” Philippe then passed the business to his son Fran├žois in 1798, as France was entering its notorious revolution.

Madame Clicquot

Yet the story really gets interesting when ownership of the company fell into the hands of Fran├žois’ widow, Barb Nicole Clicquot Ponsardin in 1805. She had such an effect on the House that its modern name, Veuve Clicquot, is an homage to her memory; “veuve” is French for “widow.”

Madame Clicquot was such a character. After becoming the first woman to run a Champagne house at the tender age of 27, she created what has since became known as the first recorded “vintage Champagne” in history. Madame Clicquot is particularly famous for breaking the continental embargo that prevented trade with Russia during the Napoleonic Wars, by shipping 10,550 bottles of Veuve Clicquot to the realm of the Tsars in 1814.

Invention of the riddling table

However the widow’s greatest achievement was the invention of the riddling table in 1816. Prior to this date, Champagne was cloudy because there was no way to remove the lees (dead yeast) that built up during its unique double fermentation process.

The problem was that it was almost impossible to remove the lees without sacrificing a large portion of Champagne. The invention of the riddling table changed this; it allowed Champagne producers to remove the lees without losing too much liquid to create crystal clear wine in a process called “disgorgement.” A moderated version of this process continues to be used to this day.

Try the Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin 1998


In conclusion, when you purchase a bottle of Veuve Clicquot, you buy a bottle that’s the product of one of the greatest minds in wine history. You can taste Madame Clicquot’s genius in every drop. If you want to see what we mean, why don’t you try the Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin 1998, which you can buy for only £112 from the Ideal Wine Company today; it’ll blow you away.