Veuve Clicquot owes its extraordinary reputation to a remarkably modern woman: Madame Clicquot.
To pay tribute to Madame Clicquot’s legacy, for its bicentennial in 1972 the Veuve Clicquot Champagne Maison created the Veuve Clicquot Business Woman Award. Each year this trailblazing award honors exceptional women who are business leaders recognized for their success. In 2014 the Maison created the Prix Clémentine, named after Madame Clicquot’s daughter, to recognize women Veuve Clicquot sees as emblematic of the next generation of remarkable businesswomen.
This year’s Veuve Clicquot Business Woman Award went to Nathalie Balla, co-President of La Redoute and Relais Colis since 2014, after previously serving as CEO. She has strong ties to the company and played a key role in relaunching it in 2014 alongside management and employees. Since then the company has swung back to dynamic growth momentum.
The ceremony on November 15th was held at the Automobile Club de France in Paris, attended by numerous prominent business leaders and previous award winners.
Shanty Baehrel, winner of the Prix Clémentine, is the founder of her eponymous Shanty Biscuits brand, which makes and sells customized biscuits online. In 2013, the native of Aix-en-Provence received a biscuit stamp as a birthday present, giving her the idea for biscuits with personalized messages, giving the tasty treats special meaning. Word of mouth and viral success on Instagram quickly made her production facilities too small to support the company’s growth, as sales tripled annually.
Married in 1798 to François Clicquot, owner of a Champagne business, and widowed at 27, she took control of the business and was one of the first women to lead a company of men. Proud, stubborn and strong-willed, she overcame the climatic uncertainties of arid land and always demanded “only one quality, the finest.” An ambitious visionary and known by her peers as “La Grande Dame de la Champagne,” Madame Clicquot demonstrated her innovative spirit in 1810 by producing the first vintage wine of the Champagne region. With her daring, avant-garde ideals, she invented the first “riddling table” in 1816, as a way to clarify Champagne. Adopted across the Champagne region, this method is still used today by all Houses. Madame Clicquot also used the red wines from her Bouzy vineyards in 1818 to produce the very first Rosé blend in Champagne.