Veuve Clicquot: A Leader in Developing the World's Best Champagnes
If it weren't for Veuve Clicquot, your next glass of champagne might be full of sediment. The house invented the practice of remuage, or riddling, wherein bottles are turned by hand so that the solid matter gets pushed into the neck and can be emptied before the bottling process is complete. That fact alone seems justification for Veuve Clicquot's nomination for a Luxist award in the best sparkling wine/champagne category.
Remuage is just one of the advanced techniques pioneered by Veuve Clicquot over the course of its storied history. Founded in 1772 by Philippe Clicquot, the house became the first to ship rosé champagne three years later. But the house's greatest leader turned out to be Barbe Nicole Ponsardin – also known as Madame Clicquot, the widow of Philippe's son. After her husband's death, she took the house's reins at the age of 27.
Gallery: Veuve Clicquot
In 1814, Madame Clicquot shipped 10,000 bottles of champagne to Russia, where demand skyrocketed for the better part of a century. Two years later, she invented the remuage technique. After a long career that brought Veuve Clicquot to the top of the champagne world, she retired at the age of 64.
In 1987, the brand became part of luxury conglomerate Louis Vuitton Moet Hennessy, maintaining the brand's historical caché. Reminders of the champagne's history are never far away – in 2008, the oldest unopened bottle of Veuve was found in a Scottish castle. Not for sale, the bottle now graces the Veuve Clicquot visitor center in Reims, France.
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