For centuries, women have not easily achieved positions of influence in the world of wine. The industry, one deep-rooted in tradition, is seeing an influx of incredible, trailblazing female winemakers - making some of the most sought after wine across the world. Veuve Clicquot's Gaëlle Goossens is one of them.
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Born and raised in Champagne, France, Goossens is redefining the industry to show women at the forefront. She holds degrees in biochemistry and oenology and cares about opening up the winemaking space for more women. The successful winemaker joined the Veuve Clicquot team in 2016 and has quickly cemented herself as a face of the Veuve Clicquot brand, swiftly navigating her way through the notoriously male-dominated field with a determination to be admired.
Although, it can be argued that Veuve Clicquot has been championing women in business since its inception.
“Madame Clicquot, La Grande Dame, is still very here in the house,” Gaelle says. “She was this extraordinary woman, very young at the time when she took over the business at 27. I’ve always thought, even today if I was 27 in 2019, it would be very hard to start the business. In 1805, it was a challenge, but I think she just didn’t care."
In 1805, champagne hair François Clicquot tragically died, leaving his wife Barbe-Nicole Clicquot to take over the helm of the Clicquot Maison.
"Clicquot have really strong roots because of the history, because of the legacy of Madame Clicquot," says Goosens. "They have this daring spirit and this spirit of conquest when they create new wines."
It's not just in its spirit that Clicquot is trailblazing. Last year, LVMH launched SHERO, an internal digital platform and community to empower women through articles, video, podcast and more.
"They think outside the box", Goossens says of Clicquot.
Goossens is also attracted to the mystery of wine and loves challenging herself with new creations in the industry.
"I think I've always been passionate about wine and not just tasting wine," Goossens says. "I wanted to understand the wine because I find it very mysterious - you know, when you taste and smell a wine you have the aromas. Why are they changing with time, how do we get different aromas and every type of wine across the world is different."
"I think I was attracted by that and working with my senses, working with your palettes," she continues. "Blending and ageing to transform our wine — it’s truly an art!"
Goossens is responsible for a team of research developers too. "We do a lot of research and development because we are the only ones who produce champagne," Goossens explains. "We have our own tower and our own specialities. Every time we have an issue or anything we want to find, we have to make our own study because there is no version similar."
"You cannot find someone else in the world that has studied the same."
Goossens is the prime example of women making waves in their field, inspired by the trailblazing women that came before.