The ‘Veuve’ in Veuve Clicquot means ‘widow’ in French. The widow in question was Barbe-Nicole Clicquot Ponsardin, the ‘grande dame of champagne’ who took over the winery in Reims in 1805 and to a large extent created the Veuve Clicquot legend. She invented the first blended rosé champagne, the first known vintage champagne and the riddling table – a key tool of the champagne maker’s trade ever since. Today of course Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin (to give it its proper name) is one of the most famous of all champagne houses, a stamp of sophistication, excellence and quality. Its Brut champagnes and cuvées are defined by their freshness, strength, aromatic richness and silkiness. There have only ever been 11 Veuve Clicquot cellar masters in its 250 year history, ensuring that the house remains true to its motto: ‘Only one quality, the finest’.