One would not question that Champagne is the world’s most desirable beverage. It has an incomparable ability to evoke feelings of euphoria and excitement. It is synonymous with celebration. We certainly do not need a formal study to draw the conclusion that it makes most women happy even after only one magical, bubbling flute …. or a few more. But what of those women behind the bubbles?
The champagne industry for nearly 300 years, like much of the French and indeed global wine industry has been led by men. They have toiled, trained and studied the art of wine making, turning this bubbling wine into a billion dollar business from the monk of Dom Perignon and beyond. But there are a few notable exceptions to this history.
A handful of women stood up alongside these men and caved a name in the history books for themselves for being exceptional in a time and in an industry where women at the helm was not the norm. These women include the widows of Madame Clicquot, Madame Pommery and Madame Lily Bollinger who are credited for many innovations and for general management of their empires which are still some of the most powerful brands in the world today.
So have things changed in our modern world? Perhaps not. There is still a relatively small number of women at the top of today’s Champagne empires and even fewer wine makers. However, one thing is for certain, you don’t have to be widowed to etch out a career in Champagne in the 21st century. The small number of our modern day Dames are doing it on their own and doing it well.
Credits must roll for Carol Duval head of Duval-Leroy Champagne house who predominately hires women and leads the company with passion and the delightful Floriane Eznack chef de caves at Jacquart who skilfully and gracefully leads a team of male wine makers.
Whether our modern day champagne heroines were influenced by the great champagne dames of the past or not, one cannot ignore the path that was blazed by a small ensemble of strong women who made a significant impact on the Champagne industry. We introduce to you some of our favourite champagnes from the Great Dames of Champagne.
Shop the Great Dames HERE