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The Day I Felt Like a Grande Dame

Dream List item complete – drink champagne in Champagne (Candace)

Anyone who knows me understands my appreciation for a good bottle of bub. I view champagne as celebratory, and every time I share a glass, I sincerely feel that we are celebrating the moment. My employees have been known to receive bottles upon special occasions or when a job has been well done, and when I share a bottle, I remind them to "keep the cork, to remember what success tastes like."

Now, I won’t drink just any champagne. Actually, that’s not true. I’ll take anything you put in front of me. But I do have a special place in my heart for Veuve Clicquot. Always have. Always will. Why? You may ask. I never really knew the reason, except for the eye-catching label and sassy yellow and pink coloring that worked so well in my BGV and SoMoLend offices.

But that has all changed for me today. You see, I listed on my dream list that I one day wanted to drink champagne in the Champagne region of France. My friend, Tom, took his new wife, Christy, there on their honeymoon, and I’ve marked it as a goal ever since.

And today, Andrew made my wish come true.  Thanks to a wedding gift from Claire and Mitch Batt and Katie and Alan Davison, not only did we drink our way through Champagne, but we kicked off the day at the Veuve Clicquot champagne house.  OMG!  Andrew made a special appointment for us to have the “Madame’s Steps” tour, and we learned all about the Grande Dame of Champagne. 

Barbe-Nicole Ponsardin, daughter to the Mayor and Chamber President of Reims, was a French businesswoman who took on her husband's wine business when she was widowed in 1805, at the age of 27.   She literally marched into her father-in-law’s office and told him she wanted to take over the operation.  My kind of girl!

Under her ownership, and her skill with wine, the company developed the first ever vintage champagne, developed early champagne using a novel technique that she invented (turning the bottles at an angle to remove the sediment), and developed the first sparkling Rose. She eventually named the Company Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin to represent that she was a widow, and used the anchor in the logo as a symbol of prosperity and the star to represent her first vintage, the year of the comet. 

To say that I was blown away by this woman was an understatement.  I was absolutely star-struck.  And I love the brand all the more as a result.  I’m reminded about how honored I am to be a woman, and felt inspired by today’s experience. 

Vive le Champagne!