Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin is both a brand of champagne and a champagne-producing house located in Reims, France. It is more commonly called "Veuve Clicquot." The house is named after the widow Clicquot, who is credited creating with the technique that made modernized, mass champagne production possible. The sparkling wine is recognizable by its bright yellow-orange label.
The house was founded in 1772 under the name Clicquot by Philippe Clicquot-Muiron. In 1775 it was the first champagne-producing house to ship rosé, which blends white and red grapes. When Clicquot-Muiron's heir died in 1805, his estate was left to the son's wife, the widow Barbe Nicole Ponsardin. She inherited the business as well, and in 1810 the house was re-named Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin. ("Veuve" means widow in French.)
The 1811 vintage is famous across the Champagne region of France, because of a comet that passed over the fields---in wine production, this is seen as a good sign for the crops. It is also famous because the widow Clicquot first implemented modernized production techniques, and in 1814 was able to ship 10,000 bottles of champagne to Russia. The Russian market continued to grow over the following years, and champagne also become a popular drink across Europe. In 1816, the widow Clicquot perfected the technique called "remuage," or "riddling," a process of shaking the sediment into the bottle's neck for removal, which made champagne clear and crisp instead of cloudy. The technique has been used by champagne-production houses ever since.
In 1987 Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin became a part of the luxury group Louis Vuitton Moet Hennessey.
Veuve Clicquot's signature champagne is a non-vintage brut, blending multiple vintages to achieve the most consistent taste. It has a dry taste, using two-thirds red grapes (pinot noir and pinot meunier) with one-third white, a chardonnay.
Veuve Clicquot has also shipped rosé in years when the grape crop is particularly strong.
The champagne-producing house is located in Reims, France, in the Champagne region, 80 miles northeast of Paris. The lands owned by Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin are situated on slopes, where several varieties of grapes are grown. These slopes provide between 26 percent and 28 percent of the Champagne region's grapes. The champagne-producing facility and cellars are open to tourists, who may also visit the chalk caves below the house, which date to the third century A.D.
Champagne producers attempt to produce the same taste every year, and Veuve Clicquot is no exception. The bright label distinguishes it from other brands of Champagne, and the company has built an image and a line of products around the label's distinctive color.
Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin is one of the most respected brands of champagne and has been rated highly by experts and novices. It came in 25th in 2009 in the "Wine.com 100." The Upgrader on men.style.com praised its "commendable consistency and availability." It upholds the specific qualities and techniques of sparkling wine produced in the Champagne region.
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