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Veuve Clicquot

Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin
Industry Champagne production
Founded 1772 (244 years ago)
Founder Philippe Clicquot-Muiron
Headquarters 12, Rue du Temple
Reims, France
Key people
Jean-Marc Gallot (President),[1] Jean Marc Lacave (former President)
Revenue €1.2 billion (2012)
Parent LVMH

Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin (French pronunciation: ​) is a French champagne house based in Reims, specializing in premium products. Founded in 1772 by Philippe Clicquot-Muiron, Veuve Clicquot played an important role in establishing champagne as a favored drink of haute bourgeoisie and nobility throughout Europe. The 1811 comet vintage of Veuve Clicquot is theorized to have been the first truly "modern" Champagne due to the advancements in the méthode champenoise which Veuve Clicquot pioneered through the technique of remuage.[2][3]


  • History 1
  • In popular culture 2
  • Modernisation of production 3
  • Oldest bottle 4
  • Shipwrecked bottles 5
  • See also 6
  • References 7
  • External links 8


Portrait of Madame Clicquot and her great-granddaughter Anne de Rochechouart-Mortemart

In 1772, Philippe Clicquot-Muiron established the original enterprise which eventually became the house of Veuve Clicquot. In 1775, it was credited to be the first Champagne house to produce rosé Champagne, using the method of adding red wine during production.[4]

Philippe's son, François Clicquot, married Barbe-Nicole Ponsardin in 1798 and died in 1805, leaving his widow (veuve in French) in control of a company variously involved in banking, wool trading, and Champagne production. She became the first woman to take over a Champagne house.[4] Under Madame Clicquot's guidance, the firm focused entirely on the last, to great success.[5]

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.[4] During this time, she also gave Champagne to the Prussian guards enforcing the blockade and the soldiers opened the champagne with their swords, so started the technique of sabring Champagne.[6] By the time she died in 1866 Veuve Clicquot had become both a substantial Champagne house and a respected brand. Easily recognised by its distinctive bright yellow labels, the wine holds a royal warrant from Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom.

Since 1987 the Veuve Clicquot company has been part of the Louis Vuitton Moët Hennessy group of luxury brands, and today owns a controlling interest in New Zealand's Cloudy Bay Vineyards.

In popular culture

Veuve Clicquot is featured in several films including Casablanca and Babette's Feast.

Veuve Clicquot is mentioned in Downton Abbey Season 6, Episode 1.

Veuve Cliquot is mentioned as having been consumed by the fictional British Secret Service operative, James Bond (written by Ian Fleming). Bond drank Cliquot, Veuve Cliquot, and Veuve Cliquot Rosé in at least three of the original novels: Casino Royale, Diamonds Are Forever, and Thunderball.

Modernisation of production

Bottles of Veuve Clicquot ranging from "piccolo" (0.188 L) to "Balthazar" (12 L)

Madame Clicquot is credited with a great breakthrough in champagne handling that made mass production of the wine possible. In the early 19th century, with the assistance of her cellar master, Antoine de Müller, Clicquot invented the

  • Champagne Veuve Clicquot
  • Video of the oldest bottles being recovered BBC News

External links

  1. ^ "Champagne : Jean-Marc Gallot prend la direction de Veuve-Clicquot (LVMH)". 12 September 2014. 
  2. ^ G. Harding "A Wine Miscellany" pp 45–47, Clarkson Potter Publishing, New York 2005 ISBN 0-307-34635-8
  3. ^ H. Johnson Vintage: The Story of Wine pg 337 Simon & Schuster 1989 ISBN 0-671-68702-6
  4. ^ a b c Glengarry Victoria Park Store [New Look] Episode 2: Regan and the Champagne Area
  5. ^ Don and Petie Kladstrup, Champagne: How the World's Most Glamorous Wine Triumphed Over War and Hard Times (New York: William Morrow, 2005), p. 77. ISBN 0-06-073792-1.
  6. ^ = Sabre Champagne =
  7. ^ Don and Petie Kladstrup, Champagne, p. 78.
  8. ^ Hugh Johnson and Jancis Robinson, The World Atlas of Wine, 5th ed. (London: Mitchell Beazley, 2001), pg 79. ISBN 1-84000-332-4.
  9. ^ Priceless' champagne discovered"'". BBC News. 28 July 2008. Retrieved 17 July 2010. 
  10. ^ The World's oldest champagne – Official web site of the Åland islands, Finland
  11. ^ "Treasure bubbles to the surface". The Australian ( 
  12. ^ World's oldest champagne' found on Baltic seabed"'". BBC News. 17 July 2010. Retrieved 17 July 2010. 
  13. ^ Lechmere, Adam, (17 November 2010). Champagne still 'fresh' after nearly two centuries in Baltic
  14. ^ a b "Veuve Clicquot: Shipwrecked champagne was ours". Yahoo! News. 17 November 2010. Retrieved 17 November 2010. 
  15. ^ Auction of the World's oldest champagne – Press release of Aland, Finland
  16. ^ "Ahvenanmaan samppanjahylystä löytyi uusi juomalaatu".  
  17. ^ Sarah Everts. 170-Year-Old Champagne Cache Analyzed: Chemical analysis of shipwrecked bubbly reveals secrets of 19th-century French winemaking. Chem & Eng News April 20, 2015.


See also

In January 2011, further information about the Åland bottles was released. Ninety-five of them were identified as Juglar, 46 as Veuve Clicquot, and at least four as Heidsieck.[16] The well-reserved wine was considered drinkable when it was tasted in 2015. Chemical analysis showed levels of sugar (150 g/L) much higher than modern champaign. It also had much higher levels of salt, iron, lead, copper, and arsenic compared with modern vintages. It is believed the arsenic and copper originated from antiquated pesticide (Bordeaux mixture) applied to the grapes. The iron probably came from nails used in the wine barrels, and the lead leached from brass valve fittings of the winemaking equipment. Modern champagne producers begin with wine from stainless steel barrels, yielding lower iron and lead levels.[17]

On 17 November, the local government of the Åland Islands announced that most of the bottles are to be auctioned off.[15]

In July 2010, a group of Finnish divers found 168 bottles from the Föglö wreck in the Baltic Sea off the coast of the Åland Islands.[10][11][12] The bottles were initially claimed to have been produced between 1782 and 1788. They were sent back to France for analysis. Shortly after this, the bottles were traced to a now-defunct champagne house Juglar. In November 2010, it was reported that the wreck indeed included Veuve Clicquot bottles as well.[13][14] Veuve Clicquot stated that experts checking branding of the corks "were able to identify with absolute certainty" that three of the bottles were theirs. The other bottles examined were attributed to Juglar.[14]

Shipwrecked bottles

In July 2008 an unopened bottle of Veuve Clicquot was discovered inside a sideboard in Torosay Castle, Isle of Mull, Scotland. The 1893 bottle was in mint condition, having been kept in the dark, and was the oldest bottle known to exist. It is now on display at the Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin visitor centre in Reims and is regarded as priceless.[9]

Oldest bottle

Composed much like a wooden desk with circular holes, the rack allowed a bottle of wine to be stuck sur point or upside down. Every day a cellar assistant would gently shake and twist (remuage) the bottle to encourage wine solids to settle to the bottom. When this was completed, the cork was carefully removed, the sediments ejected, and a small replacement dose of sweetened wine added.[8]

and sediments left from the wine's secondary fermentation in the bottle's neck by using a specialised rack. yeast Clicquot's advance involved systematically collecting the spent [7]

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