Veuve Clicquot

Useful Information

Location: Reims, 1 place des Droits de l'Homme.
Open: APR to OCT Mon-Sat 10-18.
NOV to MAR Mon-Fri 10-18.
Classification: SubterraneaCellar
Light: LightIncandescent Electric Light System
Guided tours:
Address: Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin, 1 place des Droits de l'Homme, 51100 Reims, Tel: +33-268-95390, Fax: +33-268-95395.
Veuve Clicquot, 12 rue du Temple, BP 102, 51054 Reims Cedex, Tel: +33-326-895440, Fax: +33-326-406017 E-mail: contact
As far as we know this information was accurate when it was published (see years in brackets), but may have changed since then.
Please check rates and details directly with the companies in question if you need more recent info.


1772 vinery founded by Philippe Clicquot.
1775 the first Champagne House who shipped rosé champagne.
1798 Francois Clicquot takes over.
1799 Barbe Nicole Ponsardin marries Francois Clicquot, the son of Philippe Clicquot.
1805 Francois Clicquot dies, his widow Barbe Nicole Ponsardin continues the vinery.
1810 House renamed Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin.
1814 Madame Clicquot shipped 10,000 bottles to Russia, right after the block of Napoleon fell.
1816 Madame Clicquot invents remuage.
1841 Madame Clicquot retires.
1866 Madame Clicquot dies.
2001 Cécile Bonnefond Présidente or CEO of Veuve Clicquot.


This Champagne House was named after Philippe Clicquot, who founded it in 1772 as a wine merchants business. However, the most famous Clicquot, who established the house, was his daughter-in-law, Barbe Nicole Ponsardin (16-DEC-1777, 1866). She married his son Francois Clicquot, but became widow in 1805 at the age of 27. Very uncommon at this time, she continued the family business alone, without husband, and was very successful. The single most important decision was probably to ship 10,000 bottles to Russia in 1814, right after the block of Napoleon fell. So she was the first in the country and became very famous, The Russian market grew steadily until about 1870.

But Madame Clicquot is very important for modern champagne, as she invented the technique called remuage (riddling). This process makes the sparkling wine crystal clear by removing the yeast. Before the wine was clouded and it was decanted before it was drunk, obviously not a good thing for the bubbles. So she is the inventor of champagne as it is today, and the traditional Methode Champenois.

Today the Présidente or CEO of Veuve Clicquot is again a woman, Cécile Bonnefond. Born in 1956 she became CEO in 2001, when she was 44, the first woman ever to become leader of a grande marque, who not inherited the business. She introduced the new rose champagne with a spectacular marketing gag, coloring the Eiffel Tower in Paris with pink floodlight. We like the black and white pictures of her made by the German Vogue which are presented on the website.

The champagne of Veuve Clicquot is associated with the company's trademark color: deep yellow. It was selected by the widow Clicquot herself and meant to resemble the yolk of a fresh egg. A visit to Veuve Clicquot is definitely yellow: guides wear yellow sashes, the botles are yellow, and many of the products they sell, like the Clicquot Ice Jacket or the Clicquot Traveller, a yellow bag which is designed for a bottle of champagne and two glasses. Tours through the Gallo-Roman chalk quarries at the foot of the impressive staircase are offered on weekdays for all visitors. A stay at Clicquot's private residence, the Hôtel du Marc, with sampling of selected wines is only for VIPs.