Veuve Clicquot is giving us something to toast. The French Champagne house has launched a new ad campaign that tips its hat to the world of fashion and pays homage to Barbe-Nicole Clicquot Ponsardin, the French businesswoman who took over her husband’s wine business when she was widowed at age 27.
Inspired by the Clicquot story, the company’s president, Jean-Marc Gallot, developed the campaign, which features images of stylish and and accomplished women and the tagline “Let Life Surprise You.” Gallo previously held positions with Louis Vuitton and Fendi.
Veuve Clicquot is now one of the most recognizable brands in the world, but when Ponsardin-Clicquot inherited the business in 1805, Champagne was not widely enjoyed among the French (or anyone else, for that matter.) The widow’s determination led her to the palate of Tsar Nicholas I and distinguished Russia as a lucrative market for her wares. Following the brand’s introduction to Russia, Ponsardin-Clicquot began adding to her landholdings, which allowed her to produce even more Champagne. She went on to develop a riddling rack — a device that facilitated the removal of sediment from bottles — which resulted in Champagne “as clear as a flawless diamond.”
“One must go before others, be determined and exacting, and let your intelligence direct your life” the Widow Clicquot wrote, a perfect summation of her spirit.