The Widow Clicquot: The Story of a Champagne Empire and the Woman Who Ruled It

The Widow Clicquot: The Story of a Champagne Empire and the Woman Who Ruled It

Tilar J. Mazzeo
304 pages


  • Women
  • Business

Veuve Clicquot champagne epitomizes glamour, style, and luxury. In The Widow Clicquot, Tilar J. Mazzeo brings to life—for the first time—the fascinating woman behind the iconic yellow label: Barbe-Nicole Clicquot Ponsardin, who, after her husband's death, defied convention by assuming the reins of the fledgling wine business they had nurtured together. Steering the company through dizzying political and financial reversals, she became one of the world's first great businesswomen and one of the richest women of her time.

As much a fascinating journey through the process of making this temperamental wine as a biography of a uniquely tempered woman, The Widow Clicquot is the captivating true story of a legend and a visionary.



  • TM
    Tilar J. Mazzeo


HarperCollins on Oct 06, 2009

  • biography
  • 19th century



There’s not a lot of personal detail in this biography of Barbe-Nicole Clicquot, the Widow Cliquot, who revolutionized the champagne business in the early 19th century. There are no letters or journals that survived, so there’s no way to know what she was thinking, and the author doesn’t fantasize or even guess, but sticks to the little information that exists.

The history of the times is exciting enough; it was a turbulent period in France. Beyond that, there’s a lot of information about the manufacture of champagne and about the champagne business. I think this would be of more interest to a person who is more interested in chemistry and economy – more than I am, anyway.