A Culture Of Optimism

Veuve Clicquot Launches La Grande Dame 2015, A Collaboration With Italian Artist Paola Paronetto


In signature solaire style, Veuve Clicquot presents La Grande Dame 2015, an exceptionally sunny cuvée launching in South Africa this June. Hope and optimism are two characteristics conveyed in Veuve Clicquot’s La Grande Dame 2015, both being fundamental values that Madame Clicquot held dear. Each La Grande Dame vintage offers a new creative expression, and the colourful collaboration with Paola Paronetto explores the Maison’s solaire culture through a new artistic lens.

Maison Veuve Clicquot’s eponymous prestige cuvée La Grande Dame honours Madame Clicquot

For over 250 years, Maison Veuve Clicquot has celebrated the audacious, creative and innovative legacy of Madame Clicquot. Within just a few years, “La Grande Dame de la Champagne,” as she became known, created the first vintage champagne (1810), the riddling process (1816), and the first known blended rosé champagne (1818). In homage to this Grande Dame, Maison Veuve Clicquot created its esteemed cuvée.

Today, La Grande Dame showcases the Maison’s winemaking excellence and savoir-faire, with a cuvée that conveys a message. La Grande Dame exemplifies hope and optimism through resilience and unwavering passion, and each cuvée offers this unique heritage a new creative dimension.

“We’re delighted to continue the story of La Grande Dame, our exceptional wine, which embodies the House’s excellence as well as our love of Pinot Noir. For this new vintage, we are honoured to collaborate with the Italian artist Paola Paronetto. Her work once again instills a deep message of optimism.” — Jean-Marc Gallot, President and CEO of Veuve Clicquot.

Artisanship is at the heart of the collaboration with Paola Paronetto

Paola Paronetto combines stylistic innovation and the traditions of ancient art with those of pottery. Over time, she has perfected an original technique that she calls Paper Clay, combining clay, cellulose fiber, and water. Her creations, which evoke the texture of corrugated card, are trompe-l’œils. Always inspired by the beauty of nature, Paola sees colours as full and opaque, and has devised a palette of 86 tones. The irregular shapes and raw texture of her objects create a graphic play of light that exalts the carefully chosen colours.

Committed to the conscious use of resources and recycled materials, she was delighted to accept Veuve Clicquot’s invitation to design an elevated gift box. Echoing the Maison’s pioneering use of hemp in its gift boxes, the new box is sustainably made in France and composed of 60% hemp, 20% cotton, and 20% non-wood fibres. Through this creation, the artist and Veuve Clicquot share their commitment and innovative common vision. The structure of the gift box has also been designed so that it can be reused.

“Through my works, I am always looking for a balance between joy and creativity. My link with nature constantly inspires me to look towards a better future, and this collaboration with such an iconic House allows me to explore new horizons. For this new edition of La Grande Dame, I’ve created a range of six nuanced colours and a graphic play of light to show them at their very best.” — Paola Paronetto.

La Grande Dame 2015: the precision and elegance of a great vintage

Madame Clicquot was particularly fond of Pinot Noir. She used to say: “Our black grapes give the finest white wines.” This versatile grape variety expresses itself differently according to its terroir and the year in which it’s harvested and requires the finest expertise from the Cellar Master. Elegance, detail, and precision are embodied in its complexity. A solaire vintage, La Grande Dame 2015 honours Madame Clicquot’s vision. Pinot Noir finds its greatest expression in this blend (+90%), enhanced by a touch of Chardonnay (10%). This cuvée is a feat of winemaking, with an immense aging potentiation of more than 15 years.

Taught and elegant, it reveals its exceptional verticality thanks to the Pinot Noirs from the historic Crus of its terroir, which is among the most prestigious in Champagne: Verzenay, Verzy, Ambonnay, Bouzy, Ay. 2015 was an exceptional year for Champagne. After a very mild winter, spring began with a particularly cold period, followed by high temperatures. In June, an abundance of sun and modest rain produced a homogenous flowering. The grapes harvested in mid-September, in the coolness of fall, have given birth to a great vintage.

“La Grande Dame 2015 reveals the spirit of verticality and precision of the Pinot Noir’s from our historic Crus.” — Didier Mariotti, Veuve Clicquot Chef de Caves

La Grande Dame 2015 is all about tension and elegance. It exhibits a beautiful, sparkling, golden robe. It offers freshness and minerality on the nose, with light floral notes of jasmine and acacia that evolve towards fruity notes of pear and clementine. In the mouth, its texture is subtle and silky.

Launching in South Africa, La Grande Dame 2015 (R3,999.95) is now available at select stores and online.


Founded in 1772 in Reims, France, champagne house Veuve Clicquot colours life with audacity. More than champagne, Veuve Clicquot is an attitude that sparkles with joie de vivre, embodied by the House’s signature sunburst-yellow colour. Madame Clicquot, the audaciously innovative woman known as la grande dame of Champagne, took the reins of the House in 1805 at 27 years old, and became one of the first businesswomen of modern times. She cultivated a culture of excellence, and adopted “only one quality, the finest” as her motto. Her passion, vision, and innate sense of French art de vivre live on today in the House that bears her name. Veuve Clicquot spreads delight through its remarkable champagne range, including the iconic Yellow Label, and its joyful experiences around the world.


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Paola Paronetto was born in Pordenone in 1965. She began her training in ceramics, notably between Umbria and Tuscany, where she learned the main techniques of working with clay, developing her first connections with a world that immediately fascinated her. After extensive personal research, made up of continuous experimentation with different materials, she focused on paper clay. This gave rise to her ‘Cartocci’ collection, a rich series of sculptural objects made with a lengthy and complex process. In almost forty years of research, Paola Paronetto has developed a deeply personal interpretation of the medium, in numerous expressions of raku ceramics, in porcelain and, currently, through the paper clay technique, which she has propelled to the furthest and most innovative artistic identity.


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