Let’s Get Fizz-ical

WORDS Jo Buitendach PHOTOS Supplied

Veuve Clicquot collaborates with celebrated Italian ceramicist Paola Paronetto.

June saw the South African unveiling of Veuve Clicquot’s prestige cuvée, La Grande Dame 2015. A sunny vintage that pays homage to the original ‘La Grande de la Champagne’, Madame Clicquot, who took the reins of Maison Veuve Clicquot in 1805. After being widowed at the age of 27 years old, she created the first vintage champagne, the riddling process which removes sediment and the first known blended rosé champagne. Becoming one of the first businesswomen of modern times, a story that will be told in an upcoming biopic of her life called ‘Widow Clicquot’. 

But it’s not just the delicious bubbly that’s worth a mention, the packaging is too. The brand has collaborated with celebrated ceramicist and master of colour Paola Paronetto, who has designed six sustainably made gift boxes for the La Grande Dame 2015 in her signature palette of hues.  

Veuve Clicquot collaboration with Paola Paronetto – colourful Veuve Clicquot boxes in Paola's studio

Born in Pordenone, Italy in 1965, Paola was drawn to the world of ceramics at a young age. After extensive experimentation with different materials and techniques, she began to work with her chosen medium paper clay. This gave rise to her ‘Cartocci’ collection, a rich series of sculptural objects made with a lengthy and complex process. Today her art is exhibited in in select showrooms, galleries, and museums around the world, including the Ille Arts gallery in New York and the Contemporary Ceramic Centre in London who have both dedicated solo exhibition to Paola Paronetto. 

Committed to the conscious use of 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. The structure of the gift box has also been designed so that it can be reused. The boxes come in a variety of predominantly pastel shades (notte, lavanda, menta, otannio, grigio blu and Nuvola), apt as the Widow Clicquot apparently loved a pop of colour. 

Paola says of the project “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”. 

To accompany the collab, Paola has also created an art piece called “Giganti”. The work is composed of three coloured sculptures in the form of standing bottles, which express the meeting of nature and materials poetically and tangibly. The colours, textures, and sensuality of the pieces, typical of the artist’s work, create an implicit parallel with the experience of tasting La Grande Dame cuvée. | Veuveclicquot.com | paolaparonetto.com 

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

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