Located in Reims, France, Veuve Clicquot is recognized as the oldest ‘modern’ champagne houses. Founded in 1772 by Philippe Clicquot-Mulron, Veuve Clicquot is credited with making champagne the wine of choice for the bourgeoisie and royalty. The 1811 Comet Vintage of Veuve Clicquot is recognized as the first modern champagne vintage.
The son of Philippe Clicquot-Mulron married Barbe-Nicole Ponsardin in 1798. He died in 1805 leaving his bride in charge of the Company. Madame Clicquot, the first woman to take over a champagne house, continued the innovations in champagne production instituted by her father-in-law and husband. She is credited with the biggest breakthrough in champagne production that led to its mass production, the riddling rack. The Veuve Clicquot is said to have made the first rosé champagne, and Madame Clicquot receives the accolades for perfecting it.
Madame Clicquot working in tandem with her cellar master, Antoine de Muller, immersed herself in the production of champagne and was a marketing expert in her time. She saw to it that the royal courts throughout Europe had access to her champagnes making it a sought-after wine across the continent. To this day Veuve Clicquot is distinguished by its yellow label, the same label that kings and queens recognized.
In 1987 the Veuve Clicquot brand of quality champagne was purchased by the Louis Vuitton Moet Hennessy Group.
On your visit to Reims, France a visit to the large centuries old cellars of Veuve Clicquot is in order. This famed House of Champagne offers three different public tours as well as seven private tours by reservation. Each of the public and private tours explore distinct aspects of this pioneering champagne house and all end with a tasting of selected vintages.
The Public Tours include ON THE FOOTSTEPS OF MADAME CLICQUOT, a history and discovery of the First Lady of Champagne that concludes with a tasting of the famous Brut Yellow Label cuvee and cuvée La Grande Dame, a vintage honoring Madame Clicquot.
Another popular Public Tour is VEUVE CLICQUOT AND ROSE CHAMPAGNE, in which the 200-year-old history of the famed Rose Champagne perfected by Madam Clicquot is explored.
The DISCOVERY public tour offers an overview of the Veuve Clicquot House of Champagne where you will discover the heritage and the processes involved in making the cuvées at this oldest Champagne House. This tour is an hour and a half, limited to 19 persons and culminates with a tasting of Brut Yellow Label cuvee.
Private Tours of Veuve Clicquot are more extensive and MUST be booked in advance. The MADAME CLICQUOT, examines the life of this champagne innovator, marketer and expert champagne maker. You will delve into her life from her birth in Reims in 1777 to her recognition as the first lady of champagne. This is a three-hour Private Tour limited to 15 persons and culminating with a tasting of Veuve Clicquot Yellow label and the prestigious cuvee La grande Dame, in a private lounge.
Another three-hour Private Tour explores the vineyards that were originally planted in 1772. This tour titled, VIGNOBLE is also limited to 15 persons and climaxes with the tasting of our Yellow label and our rosé non-vintage.
Other Private Tours include VIGNOBLE PLUS, VIGNOBLE A VELO, and DISCOVERY, all lasting in the three-hour range and explores distinct aspects of the First Champagne House in detail. The ultimate Private Tour is ONE DAY WITH VEUVE CLICQUOT. This is a truly customized private tour for special occasions such as birthdays, anniversaries or even proposals. The team at House Veuve Clicquot will work with you to create a truly customized full day experience roaming the Crayères. This tour includes customized tastings that may include comparative tasting, petits fours, old vintages tasting.
As a founding Champagne House in Reims, France, it is a sponsor to sporting and social events throughout the year. In 2013 Veuve Clicquot partnered with culinary artist Joël Robuchon to create pairings of the best in Champagne with the Best in culinary excellence. Throughout France and the world Veuve Clicquot wines will be the guests of honor in all Joël Robuchon restaurants. Hosts at Veuve Clicquot will help you find the culinary adventure that pairs best with the Champagnes of Royalty.
Story by Daniel Dachille and Laine Page
Some photos courtesy Veuve Clicquot