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Veuve Clicquot Champagne

Veuve Clicquot is one of the most iconic Champagne brands in the world. It's signature yellow label has been associated with luxury and refinement for centuries. The company's history dates back to 1772, when it was founded by Philippe Clicquot-Muiron. But it was Madame Barbe-Nicole Clicquot who made the company into the one we know today. She took over her husband's firm when he died in 1805 of typhoid. This was unusual. At the time in France, there was very little a woman could do without the consent of a husband or a father. And her timing couldn’t be worse with Europe being at war.

Nevertheless, Veuve (meaning widow) Clicquot was a remarkably determined woman. She reorientated the business away from its other concerns, textiles and banking, to focus on wine and sought out new markets for her wines, notably Imperial Russia. When Napoleon went into exile on Elba in 1814, she sent a boat load of Champagne to Russia. It remained the choice of Russian aristocracy until the revolution of 1917.

But where she really innovated was on the technical side of the business. Around 1811 she invented a process to create a clear bright consistently sparkling wine. First remuage where the bottles are turned upside down so that the yeasts congregate around the cork. The spent yeasts are ejected by the pressure of the wine when the cork was removed, this is known as degorgement. The bottle would then be topped up with some sweet wine and brandy and then quickly recorked. This is still the technique used to this day.

Today, Veuve Clicquot's flagship wine is the Yellow Label Brut, which is a classic Champagne blend of pinot noir, chardonnay, and pinot meunier. Veuve Clicquot's other well-known wines include the Veuve Clicquot La Grande Dame, Veuve Clicquot Rosé, and Veuve Clicquot Demi-Sec.

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