Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin is one of the most famous and admired Champagne houses, thanks not only to the quality of its Champagnes but also to its remarkable history. “Veuve” means “widow” in French, and the house gets its name from the formidable Barbe-Nicole Ponsardin, who became a widow seven years after her marriage to Francois Clicquot, whose father had founded a company involved in trading, banking and Champagne production. Though it was highly unusual in 1805 for a woman to run a family conglomerate, Madame Ponsardin’s genius for business and marketing meant that by the middle of the 19th century the Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin brand was one of the most prestigious Champagnes in Europe. Today the company, which is in Reims, is owned by Louis Vuitton Moet Hennessy, the luxury brands conglomerate. Its 855 acres are planted to Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier. The distinctive yellow label vintage Champagnes remain Veuve Clicquot’s signature wines.