Bubbly Badasses: Women in the History of Champagne with Cynthia Coutu - Context Travel

Bubbly Badasses: Women in the History of Champagne with Cynthia Coutu

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Champagne is a celebratory wine that marks special occasions, brings joy, represents elegance, and the finer things in life. When you think of champagne, you think of happy times. Ironically, la Champagne is a region that is known for its harsh weather and bloody history.

In order to survive, and thrive, the Champenois have learned to be patient, unified, and resilient. Women have played a key role throughout the history of the region and the wine. They were enthusiastic consumers in the 18th century and innovative producers during the 19th century. They also kept the champagne ship afloat during two World Wars in the 20th century. And like a champagne bubble, they are moving onwards and upwards during the 21st century.

Pop open a bottle of champagne made by a woman, sit back, relax, and listen to the stories about these inspirational women. Here are a few of the women you will learn about:

  • Mesdames de Parabère and de Pompadour, Catherine the Great, and many cheeky courtisanes during the 18th century who celebrated life and love with effervescence!
  • Mesdames Cliquot, Pommery, Perrier, and other widows during the 19th century who initiated technical innovations while navigating the Napoleonic and Franco-Prussian Wars.
  • Mesdames Krug, Olry-Roederer, Bollinger, and de Nonancourt who managed their Houses while bombs literally fell on their heads or Nazis pillaged their cellars during WWI and WWII.
  • The fabulous female growers and owners behind La Transmission and Fa’bulleuses who have joined forces to transmit knowledge and support each other.

If you need help finding a bottle made by a woman, here is a list of female professionals in the champagne industry.

Cynthia is Canadian and has been living in Paris for more than 25 years. She obtained a B.A. in Fine Arts (Photography) in Canada, then came to France to do a Masters in Art History at the Sorbonne. Her love of wine and cheese kept her in France. She studied wine at LeAcademie du Vin and Locole du Vin, and is certified Wine and Spirits Education Trust Level 3 with Merit. She then specialized in champagne - the king of wines and the wines of kings! She teaches champagne masterclasses, judges wine contests, hosts champagne tasting events, and loves taking people to visit her favorite champagne producers. She was voted Best Wine Tasting in Paris by Expatriates Magazine. She is currently researching the role of women in the history of Champagne for a book project.

This conversation is suitable for adults over 21 years old.

90 minutes, including a 30 minute Q&A.