Research project: Veuve Clicquot

Topics: Veuve Clicquot, Sparkling wine, Chardonnay Pages: 2 (500 words) Published: February 26, 2014
As a chef and wine lover, I’ve always admired Madame Clicquot or Barbe-Nicole Ponsardin. She took charge of her husband’s company after his death, when the idea of an upper middle class woman entering into business was unheard of. In my homeland, we have a great sparkling wine called Cava, and it was researching about its origins once ago how I discovered that Veuve Clicquot was the inventor of Champenoise Method, as well as the first woman in history to run an international commerce empire. Barbe-Nicole married Francois Clicquot when she was 20. He also came from a wealthy family and decided to take his family side business, winemaking, and concentrate on the sparkling wine, which had made the region famous for a time. Unfortunately, over the years had fallen out of favor, and after the war, their business was in depression. Francois died in 1805 surrounded of suicide rumors. Veuve Clicquot decided to continue the business on her own instead of retreating into widowhood. With her father-in-law backing financially her ideas, she created not only a successful enterprise, but played a key role in transforming champagne from the cloudy product of fermentation, to the clear bubbly we know today. She developed this technique that allowed to remove all death yeasts after fermentation. She created a rack that held the bottles of wine upside down, an assistant every day would gently shake and twist the bottles to encourage the death yeasts to settle to the bottom. When this was complete, the cork would be gently removed and the bundle of yeasts ejected. Now the wine was less cloudy, and the bubbles were smaller. It would be years before her biggest competitor Jean-Remy Moet discovered her secret and adopted her technique. Barbe-Nicole made other courageous business decisions, when decided against turning Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin into a family business for example. Her son-in-law turned out to be a lazy gambler, Barbe-Nicole decided consequently to bring on a business...
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