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Wine 101: Champagne Part IV: The Widow Clicquot

In 1729, the first Champagne house was established by the Ruinart family. From then until 1820, the art of Champagne production started to shape up to where it is today, due in no small part to Madame Clicquot.

Today’s tale begins in 1777 with the birth of Barbe-Nicole Ponsardin, the daughter of wealthy textile merchants Philippe and Marie Ponsardin. After spending most of her childhood in the midst of the French Revolution, she was married to François Clicquot at the age of 21. When François died a mere six years later, he left a banking, textile, and winemaking business to the widowed Clicquot and their daughter, Clémentine. It wasn’t long after that the Clicquots began solely focusing on Champagne production, fine-tuning their processes, and eventually coining the riddling process to remove unwanted sediment from their wines.

Last week on “Wine 101,” we talked about the famous winemaking monk Dom Pérignon, but today we shift the focus to Madame Clicquot. Modern-day Champagne as we know it is largely credited to her innovations, and in this episode, we talk about her life and the world around her during this pivotal time in Champagne’s history. Tune in for more.

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“Wine 101” was produced, recorded, and edited by yours truly, Keith Beavers, at the VinePair headquarters in New York City. I want to give a big old shout-out to co-founders Adam Teeter and Josh Malin for creating VinePair. Big shout-out to Danielle Grinberg, the art director of VinePair, for creating the most awesome logo for this podcast. Also, Darby Cicci for the theme song. And I want to thank the entire VinePair staff for helping me learn something new every day. See you next week.

*Image retrieved from Elena via

The article Wine 101: Champagne Part IV: The Widow Clicquot appeared first on VinePair.

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