About Veuve Clicquot
One of the most recognisable Champagnes in the world, the success of Veuve (meaning “widow” in French) Clicquot can be attributed to the woman who turned around a business on the brink of collapse into the behemoth it is today. Born Barbe-Nicole Ponsardin, she was married to Francois Clicquot in 1798 in an attempt by both families to consolidate their respective business interests.
The Clicquots owned a small wine business that the newly-weds expressed an interest in expanding, but the venture did not (initially!) fare very well amidst the privations of the Napoleonic Wars. Even worse, Francois passed away abruptly from illness in 1805, just 6 years into their marriage. On the brink of bankruptcy, Barbe-Nicole sought investments twice from her father-in-law to keep the business afloat, and got her big break when she managed to sell her sweet Champagnes to the Russian market just as the Napoleonic Wars concluded. Soon after her wines hit the Russian shores, Tsar Alexander I announced that it was the only wine he would drink, and with that early ‘celebrity endorsement’ Barbe-Nicole never looked back.