LA GRANDE DAME - Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin


To justly celebrate the 200th anniversary of Maison Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin, a very prestigious vintage year champagne was obviously in order. Let us recall the history of La Grande Dame, the vintage champagne that pays tribute to Madame Clicquot herself – one of the first business women of modern times.

The Prestigious Vintage Champagne of Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin

The year was 1972, the bicentennial of the Maison, when Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin first introduced its prestigious vintage champagne, ringing in the important birthday of the Maison. The vintage-worthy cuvée featured a special blend of two-thirds Pinot Noir – the emblematic blend of the Maison – and one-third Chardonnay grapes, harvested from the eight historic Grand Crus vineyards of Madame Clicquot: Verzenay, Verzy,  Bouzy,  Ambonnay,  Aÿ,  Avize, Oger,  Le Mesnil-sur-Oger.

Allowed a longer maturation in the cellar (around 10 years of aging), the wines were enabled to fully develop a rich, aromatic, complex palette. The first edition of the vintage wine dated from 1962, while the design of the bottle echoed of feminine curves – round at the shoulder with a distinctive waist. The subsequent shape of La Grande Dame’s contemporary bottle was adopted in the mid-1980s.

A Tribute to La Grande Dame of Champagne 

Her contemporaries called her La Grande Dame of Champagne, a name that is in itself a tribute to her admirable talents. Today, this prestigious vintage champagne also renders homage to Madame Clicquot, an iconic figure who left her indelible mark on the Maison. When she took the reins of the Maison at the age of just 27 years old, Barbe Nicole Ponsardin, had recently become Veuve (widow) Clicquot. An audacious and creative leader, she was on a permanent quest for excellence, all the while improving upon champagne-making practices with her own major innovations. 

The Veuve Clicquot Business Woman Award

The same year of the bicentennial, Maison Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin also created its Business Woman Award. Recognizing women in the business world who share the same values as Veuve Clicquot did, the winner is valued for her entrepreneurial spirit, innovation and determination. In 1972 it was awarded to Gisèle Picaud, a construction engineer. Today, it awards winners in 27 countries across the world.

La Grande Dame has been available as a Rosé version since 1996 (of Vintage 1988), acting as another beautiful means of paying tribute to Madame Clicquot. She was the first in Champagne to invent the idea of a blended Rosé wine, using her delicious Bouzy red wines. 

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