About Veuve Clicquot Champagne
Veuve Clicquot is one of the most recognisable Champagne brands in the UK, and one with an incredible history and legacy, thanks to the legendary Madame Clicquot. In true celebration of this remarkable woman, Veuve Clicquot is now the main sponsor of the UK’s ‘Business Woman Award', to celebrate unique achievements of women from around the world.
Over the last 10 years, Veuve Clicquot has raced up the Champagne charts to take the number 2 position, just behind Moet, in the leader board for Champagne sales in the UK.
With its distinctive orange label and unique range of memorabilia, accessories and gifts, it is known as ‘the Champagne of the Season’ and can be easily spotted at all major events in the Society's calendar; from Ascot and Henley to many international polo matches.
What is the Background to Veuve Clicquot?
The Champagne house of Clicquot Ponsardin was founded in 1772, by Philippe Clicquot, a banker and textile merchant, who began to build the business up. After his death, his then only 27 years old widow, Barbe Nicole Clicquot Ponsardin, took the reins and is almost uniquely responsible for creating not only the brand that Clicquot is today, but also the invention of some traditional Champagne production techniques. The name of the brand, ‘Veuve (widow) Clicquot’, represents her. She became, without any shadow of a doubt, one of the first business women of modern times.
Her brilliance and innovation left a huge legacy for the Champagne world. In 1810 she was the first person to introduce a vintage Champagne; at the same time, she was building the international reputation of her brand. She sold over 25,000 bottles to Russia, which gained her applause from Chekhov, Pushkin and Gogol.
Innovations in Champagne Production Technique
Possibly her greatest contribution to the regal history of Champagne production was the invention of the ‘riddling’ table, a piece of equipment which allowed Champagne bottles to be placed neck down and gently rotated every day, until all the sediment from the secondary fermentation settled in the neck of the bottle, enabling it to be removed. This was the first time a brilliantly clear and clean Champagne was created; remuage, or ‘riddling’, is now a core part of the Champagne production process, although often now done by machines.
Veuve Cliquot Brand Today
La Veuve Clicquot died in 1866, but her legacy was complete. Her distinctive yellow label, was turned to orange in 1877; in 1909 the company moved to new premises and bought more vineyard holdings, huge chunks of underground and chalk cellars, which today stretch for over 24km.
Since 1987, Veuve Clicquot managed to become a part of the LVMH portfolio of luxury brands, cultivate 388ha of vineyards, acquire numerous luxurious chateaux and turn into one of the top ten Champagne brands in the world.
What Styles Of Wine Does Veuve Clicquot Make?
Veuve Clicquot yellow label NV - the Veuve Clicquot house style, made from around 55% Pinot Noir, 25% Chardonnay and the remainder Pinot Meunier, mainly from top vineyards. A very consistent style, with rich, biscuity ripeness, and a fresh, elegant complexity.
Veuve Clicquot Pink Label, Rose NV - following a similar house structure as the yellow label in terms of grapes, this is a lively, deep, richly balanced Rose, with elegance and style.
Veuve Clicquot Vintage and Vintage Rose - only produced in certain years, Veuve Clicquot Vintage and Vintage Rose Champagnes have an elegant, almost ethereal quality, with lingering ripeness, yet they stay fragrant and deeply complex.
La Grande Dame - created in 1972 to mark the company’s bicentenary and to celebrate one of the greatest women in the Champagne industry, this fabulous Champagne is made entirely from grand cru vineyards, is given extended ageing, and is simply the epitome of poise, style and incredible sophistication. Easily recognizable by its distinctive bottle shape and long, thin bottle neck.