Like most woman in the late 1700's she was married to a young man of comparable social position. At the age of 27 she was widowed. Veuve (or Widow) Clicquot could have chosen to retire to an obscure existence at one of many country estates owned by her family. Instead she applied her intelligence, focus and drive to the struggling wine business she and her husband had started.
Her life was full of suspense, drama, and tragedy. She had the backing of family capitol, but she alone had the will and fortitude to persevere against the odds of war, failed crops, political barriers, closed markets and spoiled wine. Barbe-Nicole is credited with developing the technique of "riddling" champagne; the process of removing dead yeast cells from the finished bottle.
A widow in the early 1800's in France was afforded more rights than the average woman. Veuve Clicquot used this advantage to build a successful business that today still bears her name. She died at the age of 89 a very wealthy woman.
The champagne that bears the orange "Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin" label is still famous. The flavor profile of today's wine is much different from the wines made during the lifetime of Barbe-Nicole. Today the market demands a drier more refined wine than was produced during the 1800's.
Celebrate Bastille Day with a bottle of the Widow and raise your class to Barbe-Nicole!
For more on this pioneering woman read the book The Widow Clicquot -The Story of a Champagne Empire and the Woman Who Ruled It by Tilar J. Mazzeo
Tasting note: clear, pale straw yellow with aromas of citrus, toast, apple and yeast. This soft, clean, rich and creamy textured sparkler has lemon and yeast flavors. The wine is a blend of pinot noir (50-55%), pinot Meunier (15-20%) and Chardonnay (28-33%).