Veuve Cliquot Ponsardin is a Champagne producer based in Reims, France that has been owned by the luxury-goods group LVMH (Louis Vuitton Moët Hennessy) since 1987. Veuve Cliquot is one of the world's most recognizable wine brands due to their distinct yellow-orange label.
The house of Veuve Cliquot was founded in 1772 by Phillipe Cliquot-Muiron, a banker who owned vineyards in the Champagne region. He decided to start a wine business, and began shipping Champagne soon afterwards. His son François joined the firm, and in 1798 married Barbe Nicole-Ponsardin. François died suddenly in 1805, leaving his 27 year old widow to run the family business. The widow (Veuve in French) Cliquot was a shrewd businesswoman, and focused her attention on the production of Champagne solely. Russia was an early large market for the company.
In 1816, Madame Cliquot invented the pupitre, or riddling rack, thus beginning the modern era of Champagne production. Until then, Champagne was a cloudy wine, full of dead yeast left over from secondary fermentation. This dead yeast not only was unsightly, but compromised the stability of the finished wine. Her idea gave winemakers the ability to produce clear, stable Champagne. Over the years, Madame Cliquot became known as La Grand Dame, which is now the name of Veuve Cliquot's tête de cuvée. In 1877, the company filed a patent for their now famous orangey-yellow label.
Veuve Cliquot makes a range of Champagnes: The yellow label Brut, a Rose, and a Demi-Sec, then vintage versions of each. Their tête de cuvée is called La Grand Dame, is always vintage dated, and comes in a Brut and Brut Rose. From time to time, stocks of older wines will be released under the Cave Privée mark.