Veuve Clicquot

Madame Veuve Clicquot (1777-1866) war eine äußerst geschäftstüchtige Dame, und das zu einer Zeit, welche historisch als eine der gefährlichsten und unsichersten Epochen Frankreichs gilt. Zudem gab es im Geschäftsleben damals kaum Frauen. 1772 gründete Philippe Clicquot-Muiron seine Firma Clicquot, welche (neben Bankwesen und Textilien) im Handel mit Champagner tätig war.

His son François was particularly involved in viticulture and also proved to be a successful champagne merchant. The young Mademoiselle Nicole-Barbe Ponsardin from Reims married François Clicquot in 1798. Their daughter Clementine saw the light of day in 1800, but her husband died unexpectedly of fever in 1805.

The widow Clicquot (27), still young at the time, took over the management of the Clicquot company, despite numerous difficulties, despite great misgivings on the part of her father-in-law Philippe Clicquot and to the great astonishment of many of her contemporaries.

Veuve Clicquot

Together with her loyal employees, she rapidly built the House of Clicquot into an extraordinarily successful company. Champagne from the House of Clicquot enjoyed great popularity, especially among the nobility in Russia. Madame Clicquot-Ponsardin was not only an extremely capable businesswoman, but also knew how to recognize true talent in people. One example of a true talent she recognized was a Bavarian emigrant named Antoine Müller. Together with the excellent cellar master Antoine Müller, the pupitre (riddling desk) was invented in 1818 and the remuage (riddling of the bottles) was brought to perfection.

An example of one of their well-cultivated friendships might be Édouard Werlé. Mr. Werlé came from Hattenheim am Main in Germany and later became French through naturalization. Édouard Werlé was initially a simple employee in the Clicquot house. However, the bank in Paris, where the assets of the house of Clicquot were managed, collapsed in 1828. Werlé gambled his own fortune to satisfy pressing creditors. Madame Clicquot learned of Werlé's gesture only after the fact and subsequently appointed Werlé as a partner of the House of Clicquot.

Nicole-Barbe Clicquot-Ponsardin passed away peacefully at a ripe old age in her Chateau de Boursault in 1866. In her will, she bequeathed the entire company to Édouard Werlé and his son Alfred. Father and son continued to run the House of Clicquot very successfully. For the 200th anniversary in 1972, the house of Clicquot produced a fantastic cuvée called La Grande Dame, which to this day is considered by connoisseurs to be the superlative among champagnes and at the same time commemorates this truly remarkable lady.