Champagne Veuve Clicquot Brand Overview & Buy Champagnes Same Day Delivery
Philippe Clicquot founded Veuve Clicquot in 1772, making it one of the oldest houses in Champagne. Coming from a family of bankers and textile merchants, Philippe purchased a number of vineyards and decided to establish a wine business under the family name. His vision was to sell his Champagne ‘across all borders’.
In June 1798, Barbe-Nicole Ponsardin married Philippe’s son, Francçois-Marie Clicquot in a wedding service held in the winery’s cellars, kept secret due to the ongoing French revolution. Auspiciously, the priest gave the happy couple a book by Dom Pérignon. The famous 17th century monk Dom Pérignon had written about new methods of producing sparkling wine. By combining several varieties of grape into an assemblage, he was able to harness the fermentation process, however the ‘vin du diable’ (wine of the devil) had yet to be completely tamed. Yeast would form sticky laments and leave a deposit that made the finished wine cloudy and spoiled its taste. But Madame Clicquot would change all that.
The Code Napoleon and bourgeois codes of behaviour forced French women to live in the shadow of their husbands. It took a woman with confidence and a fair amount of grit to venture into business. Barbe-Nicole Clicquot was one such woman: widowed at the age of 27 and with a three-year-old daughter, she convinced her father-in-law to let her manage the business and went on to achieve iconic status among champagne buffs.
Assisted by her cellar man Antoine-Aloys de Muller, Madame Clicquot perfected the art of ‘remuage’ or riddling. Special racks were produced to hold the bottles at an angle and over a six-to-eight-week period the bottles were rotated by a quarter-turn every day, gradually settling the lees in the neck of the bottle. The cork was then drawn, the sediment removed and liqueur de tirage (a mixture of still wine and sugar) added. Once this technique was perfected the champagne was crystal clear. With a few minor improvements, this method is still used today.
From 1876 onwards the company bottled all the dry champagne destined for Britain with a yellow label. When Madame Clicquot died in July 1866, newspapers all over the world paid tribute to the old lady. She and her loyal assistants had conquered the world and sales had reached a staggering 750,000 bottles a year!
Today’s Chef de Cave, Dominique Demarville, explains the production ethos behind Clicquot’s characterful, full-bodied and pinot-focused wines: “Veuve Clicquot is a big house where we have a huge responsibility to maintain the style, but every day we work to improve the quality.” Privileged to a respectable 382 hectares with facilities to envy, the house runs a huge operation in Reims.