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Veuve Cliquot, a historical anniversary in Philladelphia


World USA

Veuve Clicquot

A historical anniversary in Philadelphia

For the lauch of the range Cave Privée on the American market, Veuve Clicquot enjoyed a historical anniversary. In 1782, 230 years ago, the house Clicquot sent its first delivery of Champagne to the United States only 6 years
after the Declaration of Independence!

In the archives of the Champagne house, there is only one mention in the account books for this very first sending of 100 bottles of Champagne to Robert & Co, a branch of a manufacture of Amiens, located in Philadelphia on the east coast of America.

Dangerous crossings
of the Atlantic Ocean

For some fifteen years, Philippe Clicquot-Muiron, who manages the house since its creation in 1772, will benefit from his bro­ther's support. The latter, established in Nantes in the textile trade, will transmit him the Nantes or American merchants' orders. Several times a year, Philippe will thus send to the United States white and rosé, sparkling and still Champagne wines, and even some bottles of red wine! The dispatching is done in wicker baskets padded with straw to avoid impacts. The development of the trade with America will come together with the arrival of Barbe Nicole Clicquot-Ponsardin, Philippe's young widow, at the head of the house in 1805. In 1831 she signs an exclusive agreement with New York agent John Mel, and opens a Champagne warehouse in consignment.

Mrs Clicquot's Commercial talent

At that time she wrote “I wish my brand keeps the first rank in New York as in St-Peterburg”. Not very satisfied with the orders, two years later she founds two new stores to enable Veuve Clicquot to be better represented. In 1834, the first label bearing the name Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin is created especially for the United States. The “Grande Dame of the Champagne” will never stop developing the American market, sending wines to Boston, New Orleans or even California. With an undoubted success, as in 1856 his exporter writes her to send “absolutely immediately 80 baskets of 24 half-bottles and 120 baskets of 12 bottles, this wine is for the new President”. Veuve Clicquot was enjoyed even at the White House!

Champagne Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin
12rue du Temple
Tél.: +33 (0) 3 26 89 54 40
Fax: +33 (0) 3 26 40 60 17

The American's interest for the famous yellow label will increase swiftly as, even if the brand sends only some hundreds of bottles per year at the end of the 18th century, thousands and thousands are dispatched from the 19th century, with a peak of 170,000 bottles in 1886! A momentum that will only be checked by the great wars, the Prohibition or the crisis of the subprimes in 2008.
Now those troubles are far behind and the United States remain the first export market for Veuve Clicquot.

Claire Morin-Gibourg

Cave privée:
the access to exceptional vintages

In Philadelphia where he has come to present the last vintages for the American market, Dominique De­mar­ville, Veuve Clicquot's Cellar Master, immediately states in a smile: “Following the tradition in Cham­pagne, only the Cellar master has the key of the Private Cellar!” A way to emphasize on the treasures concea­led in this place: jeroboam, magnum or bottle, brut or rosé vintage, each bottle is an exceptional old vintage: 1975, 1978, 1980 and above all the 1989 and 1990. After having been launched in France in 2010, the range Cave Privée is now available in America.

Thanks to Fabienne Moreau, in charge of the historical ressources at Veuve Clicquot, for her help and researches.