Veuve Clicquot - Madame Clicquot



Madame Clicquot was born in Reims in 1777. As the daughter of Baron Nicolas Ponsardin, her social standing allowed her to obtain an excellent education, founded upon the traditional morals and values of the time. 

In 1798 she married François Clicquot, son to the founder of the Maison Clicquot. François shared his passion and knowledge for champagne creation and distribution with his young wife. It was because she had spent this time at his side that Madame Clicquot was able to take the reins of the family  house after  the untimely death of François in 1805.

In an era when women were excluded from the business world, she dared to assume the head of the company, a role she undertook with passion and determination. Madame Clicquot’s character might be summarized with two words: audacious and intelligent.

She would seize each new opportunity that arose, willing to take risks, and as such she was able to expand her business to all four corners of the world. Uncompromising when it came to the quality of her wines, she perfected new techniques of production. She invented the “table de remuage” (riddling table) to clarify champagne, and  innovated the very first blend of rosé champagne. Within just a few years she  made her name into a brand of excellence, a name today renowned throughout the world. Even then, her peers recognized her formidable contributions, and referred to her as the “Grande Dame of Champagne.


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 10 Cellar Masters has led this quest for quality, thereby ensuring the continuity of the Veuve Clicquot style: strength and complexity. Veuve Clicquot prides itself on excellence and quality. Only the juice from the cuvee (the first and most noble pressing) is used.


1798 :
The Anchor

The anchor, the Christian symbol for hope, was chosen in 1798 by Philippe Clicquot, the founder of the House, for branding on the cork. It was the only distinguishing mark in the era before labels. As a symbol of hope, the anchor was a perfect emblem for a young entrepreneur with faith in the prosperity of his newly founded business. Madame Clicquot continued to use the same cork branding when she took over the House in 1805. In keeping the anchor emblem throughout the centuries, Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin remains faithful to the signs and symbols of its roots.

The Anchor

1805 :
The Signature

Widowed at 27 after the premature death of her husband François Clicquot in 1805, Barbe Clicquot née Ponsardin became head of the House founded by her father-in-law and gave it her name. Since then she signed all correspondence and documents: Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin. Today, this signature is prominetly featured on all Veuve Clicquot labels as a tribute to Madame Clicquot herself and the brand of excellence she made world renowned. 

The signature

1811 :
The comet

In what many took as a sign predicting an excellent harvest year, a comet shot across the Champagne sky in 1811. Madame Clicquot used grapes from this "comet harvest" to make the exceptional “Vins de la Comète”, which would forge the House's reputation for excellence throughout the world. Much like a lucky star, the symbol of the comet has continued to watch over the destiny of the House of Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin.

The Comet

1877 :
The Yellow Label

In 1877 the House launched a champagne intended for the British market. This cuvee with a low dosage was called "Dry" and received a “special dressing” in the form of a yellow label to distinguish it from the white labeling of the sweeter wine. Veuve Clicquot Yellow Label Dry met with such a success in the Great Britain, Commonwealth and the United States that the demand grew from other countries. On February 12, 1877,  Édouard Werlé, Madame Clicquot’s successor, registered the Veuve Clicquot Yellow Label trademark. Today, the yellow label is the main feature that allows consumers to identify Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin bottles.

The yellow label
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Episode #10, Fabienne Moreau, Heritage Manager
Episode #10, Fabienne Moreau, Heritage Manager

Historian of the House, Fabienne Moreau has an important job preserving the rich heritage of Veuve Clicquot. The House has an exceptional amount of artifacts, properties and archives, and letters written by Madame Clicquot herself, which hold the history and secrets of champagne. These insights have founded the values and the legacy that establishes Veuve Clicquot of today. Discover Fabienne’s story.