The image of a rising sun, bringing a new day filled with hope, joy, and optimism is, in some ways, an apt symbol of Veuve Clicquot, the “grande dame of Champagne,” with its signature yellow colour.
First produced 250 years ago, this champagne is considered just as exceptional as Barbe-Nicole Clicquot, the Veuve Clicquot herself, a woman who, in many respects, continues to be an inspiration to women around the world.
Imagine being a businesswoman in 1805, a time when the male-dominated world had no place for women. Moreover, imagine the same woman at the head of a traditional French vineyard. Not only did she disturb the order of things by running a family business, this powerful woman was also bold and intelligent enough to buck convention to create what would become THE benchmark for bubbly, a move that was, for many people of the time, heresy!
Happily, thanks to women like her, things have changed a lot and today we can celebrate the importance of this early feminist figure. In fact, since 1972, the annual Veuve Clicquot Business Woman Award* has been recognizing working women who share Madame Clicquot’s qualities: an entrepreneurial spirit, creativity, and determination. Among the past winners of this prestigious award are Quebec entrepreneurs Judith Fetzer (2021), Christiane Germain (2012) and Lise Watier (1986).
Today, 250 years after the original founding of the champagne house that bears the name of Veuve Clicquot, the legacy of this businesswoman is more alive than ever. This year, the brand is going to celebrate its 250th anniversary by shining a special light on women.
In an exhibition entitled Solaire Culture, which will travel around the globe, immersing viewers in the history of this iconic house, the brand has asked 11 of the world’s most influential female artists to each create a piece about Veuve Clicquot and its emblematic vintages. As Madame Clicquot herself said in 1828, wine must please both the palate and the eyes.
Though these 11 artists are very different from one another, they all share the mission of highlighting the attributes so dear to the founder of the house. Through their commitment to art and innovation, they represent 250 years of women’s history with grace and audacity. After all, the distinctive solar yellow used by Veuve Clicquot is a symbol of the sunlight that gives life, just as women give life. In these uncertain times, we would all do well to wish for more bubbles, more bold women, and more love!
*In 2019, the Veuve Clicquot Business Woman Award and the Prix Clémentine “New Generation” Award (named after Madame Clicquot’s daughter) were renamed the Bold Woman Award and Bold Future Award, respectively.
Cover Image: Veuve Clicquot, one of the finest vineyards in the Champagne region.