1839 - Madame Clicquot Ponsardin built Neo-Renaissance style Château de Boursault
The “Grande Dame of Champagne,” Madame Clicquot, née Barbe-Nicole Ponsardin, Widow Clicquot, or Veuve Clicquot, was a French Champagne producer who lived from 16 December 1777 to 29 July 1866. When she was 27 and widowed, she took over her husband’s wine business. She owned the business and used her wine expertise to pioneer a new method for creating early champagne. She still has her name on the company and the Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin brand. Her husband François passed away in 1805, leaving his widow, known as a “veuve” in French, in charge of a business that engaged in banking, wool dealing, and champagne making, among other things. Under Madame Clicquot’s direction, the house solely specialized in champagne and prospered with assistance from her father-in-law. Under her leadership and winemaking expertise, the business created the first champagne employing a cutting-edge method called riddling. Prior to this development, the second fermentation of wine to make champagne produced an extremely sweet wine with lots of bubbles and debris from the leftover fermentation yeast in the bottle, which made the beverage hazy.