MADAME CLICQUOT'S LEGACY
1777 - Barbe-Nicole Ponsardin is born, the daughter of a prominent textile manufacturer and politician.
I798 - Barbe-Nicole marries Francois-Marie Clicquot. Given the timing - in the midst of the revolution - the wedding is held in secret (in a cellar, in fact).
1804 - Under her husband’s management, the house prospers, catering to tastes of the luxurious and indulgent courts across Europe. Madame Clicquot is destined for a very comfortable life.
1805 - Tragedy strikes at the age of 27 when her husband passes and leaves her to raise their child. At a time when it is almost unheard of for a woman to lead a business, she convinces her father-in-law to allow her to put her in charge.
1806 - Madame Clicquot invests a further 80,000 francs into the business. Unfortunately, the first few years are trying; Europe is at war.
1810- Madame Clicquot creates the first vintage Champagne, showing a knack for innovation.
1811 - An excellent vintage coincides with the timing of a comet seen in the skies for much of the year. The Veuve Clicquot ‘comet vintage’ is considered by some as the first great modern Champagne vintage.
1814 - After several years of an embargo on French bottled wine, the Russian tsar opens the doors for trade again. Maison Clicquot charter a ship with 10,000 bottles, followed by another 12,000 bottles. The timing of the arrival results in a windfall for the business.
1815 - After Napoleon’s defeat, the rest of Europe enters a period of merriment, with Champagne at the heart of all celebrations.
1816 - Madame Clicquot invents the first
‘riddling table’, the process of ageing and turning a bottle to guarantee a clear wine. This process is still used today. She also becomes known as ‘La Grande Dame of Champagne’.
1818 - Madame Clicquot invents rosé as we know it today, blending still white wine with red grapes.
1866 - Madame Clicquot dies in July. Sales had reached 750,000 bottles a year and her life is celebrated across the world.