The Widow Clicquot: The Story of a Champagne Empire and the Woman Who Ruled It (Paperback)
"Narrative history that fizzes with life and feeling.” — Benjamin Wallace, New York Times bestselling author of The Billionaire's Vinegar
The New York Times bestselling biography of the visionary young woman who built a champagne empire, became a legend, and showed the world how to live with style
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.
Tilar J. Mazzeo is the author of numerous works of cultural history and biography, including the New York Times bestselling The Widow Clicquot, The Secret of Chanel No. 5, and nearly two dozen other books, articles, essays, and reviews on wine, travel, and the history of luxury. The Clara C. Piper Associate Professor of English at Colby College, she divides her time between coastal Maine, New York City, and Vancouver Island, British Columbia.
“Joan of Arc and Madame Clicquot were the two women heroes I knew when growing up in France. What a gift to have this new, well-researched biography of one of the world’s first ‘legitimate’ businesswoman, our contemporary as a global business leader.” — Mireille Guiliano, #1 New York Times bestselling author of French Women Don't Get Fat
“The Widow Clicquot is someone we should all know about.... Long a shadowy, legend-obscured figure, in Tilar Mazzeo’s agile hands the widow sheds her weeds and takes form before our eyes as a distinctly modern entrepreneur....The result is narrative history that fizzes with life and feeling.” — Benjamin Wallace, New York Times bestselling author of The Billionaire's Vinegar
“Told in a light and graceful style that is just right for its subject…. A fascinating trip, made even more so by Ms. Mazzeo’s charming cameo appearances as a kind of tour guide…. An intoxicating business biography.” — Julia Flynn Siler, Wall Street Journal
“The Widow Clicquot, Tilar J. Mazzeo’s sweeping oenobiography of Barbe-Nicole Clicquot Ponsardin, is the story of a woman who was a smashing success long before anyone conceptualized the glass ceiling.” — New York Times Book Review
“An enticing stew of biography and history.” — USA Today
“If you like champagne, The Widow Clicquot by Tilar J. Mazzeo is definitely worth a drink.” — Lisa Ko, author of The Leavers
“Tilar J. Mazzeo’s informed and enlightening biography of Madame Clicquot, the widow and, more important, the businesswoman, retrieves her vintage story as if looking for a rare bottle in one of the Champagne region’s deepest caves.” — Newsday
“Full of fascinating morsels of information.” — Canberra Times
"A gripping story. And while the book appears to be a feminist history/business biography, it’s also the appealing story of the author’s odyssey." — Austin Chronicle
“Mazzeo’s tale moves swiftly through Barbe-Nicole’s many accomplishments, including her method for storing bottles nose-down—an innovation that allowed the second fermentation detritus to be cleared efficiently, setting her far ahead of her competitors.” — Los Angeles Times