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Champagne is a wine of legend. The entire history of the Veuve Clicquot House is marked by mythical wines, all of which respect the demand for quality that was the force that drove Madame Clicquot. True to this heritage, the House is proud of its motto: "Only one quality, the finest."
A short lineage of just 11 Cellar Masters has led this quest for quality, thereby ensuring the continuity of the Veuve Clicquot style: strength and complexity. Veuve Clicquot priors itself on excellence and quality. Only the juice from the cuvée (the first and most noble pressing) is used.
Philippe Clicquot, from a family of bankers and textile merchants, already owns vinyards and decides to establish a wine business. From the very beginning, the House states its ambition of "crossing borders".
When François Clicquot, the founder's son, dies, his widow is 27. It takes her only a few weeks to come to a decision. She thus becomes one of the first businesswomen of modern times.
Madame Clicquot proves her innovative prowess by creating the first recorded vintage champagne in the region.
The year 1811 brings an exceptional harvest, whose quality is attributed to a comet that flew over the area, and enabled the production of a remarkable wine: the Comet Vintage.
Madame Clicquot ships 10,550 bottles of 1811 Veuve Clicquot champagne to Saint Petersburg to be the first on the scene when the Russian blockade on French goods is lifted. Her champagne receives a triumphant welcome in Russia, and will be praised soon by Pushkin, Chekhov and Gogol.
Madame Clicquot invents the first riddling table, which guarantees a crystal-clear wine. This process continues to be used today. Madame Clicquot becomes known to her peers as “la grande dame of Champagne".
Breaking away from the tradition of adding an elderberry-based preparation to create rosé champagne. Madame Clicquot creates the first "rosé d'assemblage" by blending some of her Bouzy red wines with her champagne.
The House continues to innovate by dressing its bottles in a yellow label, an unusual colour for the time. The ‘V.Clicquot P. Werlé’ Yellow Label trademark is registered on 12 February 1877. Customers demand this distinctive, original label, which was to become one of the main distinguishing features of bottles produced by the House.
Veuve Clicquot implements new techniques and improves its wines yet again with the important oenological discoveries of the times. It extends its industrial heritage, setting up home on the outskirts of Reims in 482 crayères (chalk cellars), former quarries, where the production site and the visitors'centre are now located.
To mark its 200th anniversary, the House launches its prestigious vintage cuvee La Grande Dame and creates the Veuve Clicquot Business Woman Award (renamed BOLD by Veuve Clicquot), a tribute to the entrepreneurial spirit of Madame Clicquot.
LVMH (Moët-Hennessy - Louis Vuitton) is founded the following year.
Launched in Japan during the cherry blossom season, Veuve Clicquot Rosé, the House’s non-vintage Rosé, is so successful that the rest of the world has to wait until 2006 before the House can supply the remainder of the cuvée.
In July 2010, some truly unique bottles of champagne, comprising 47 of Veuve Clicquot, were discovered in a shipwreck off Finland’s Åland Islands, at the mouth of the Baltic. Despite having spent almost two centuries at the bottom of the sea, their contents are extremely well preserved.
On 5 July, 2015, the World Heritage Committee announced its decision to list the Saint Nicaise Hill in Reims and its crayères, comprising those of Veuve Clicquot, as UNESCO World Heritage sites.
On occasion of its 250th anniversary the House presents its first ever global travelling exhibition, offering a complete immersion in Veuve Clicquot’s legacy – a journey exploring the House’s heritage, savoir-faire and cultural imprint, from 1772 to the present day.