Veuve Clicquot is one of Champagne's best known producers, and has been a consistent seller since it was founded in 1772. It famously invented the process of riddling, which removed the dead yeast cells and gave the finished wines a clear appearance. The house was founded by Philippe Clicquot in 1772 as a sideline to his successful textile business, but became the second largest producer of Champagne in the region under his daughter-in-law, Barbe-Nicole Ponsardin. Pinot Noir has dominated over Chardonnay and Pinot Meunier in this blend from its inception.
In 1798 Philippe Clicquot married his only son, Francois, to the daughter of a prominent local business man named Ponsardin as a way to consolidate the power of both his and Ponsardin's successful businesses. Francois and his wife, Barbe-Nicole, saw an opportunity to take over the wine business and hopefully foster its growth. The attempt failed miserably due to the outbreak of the Napoleonic Wars, and Francois Clicquot died in 1805.
Barbe-Nicole continued on her own and, with the help of investments from her father-in-law and some deft smuggling of wines to Tsar Alexander I of Russia, Veuve Clicquot exploded onto the market. The development of the riddling process meant production increased significantly, which was able to satiate demand. Today, Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin is owned by luxury giant Louis Vuitton Möet Hennessy.