Today I’m going to highlight the first ingredient in the four part Veuve Clicquot Recipe that I promised you yesterday: 1 part design. It became clear to me during my time in France that design plays a central role in the Veuve Clicquot brand. Through collaborations with some of the world’s foremost luxury brands and designers, it has been successful in parlaying it’s famous and storied heritage into a modern brand with modern appeal. During that process, it rings true that the history of Veuve Clicquot is never lost in one of their many modern updates — rather, its authenticity has been artfully preserved.

While there are many more examples of how VC has tapped the talents of some of the worlds most astute designers to keep the brand constantly updated and relevant (case in point, it’s collaborations with Christophe Pillet), I’ve chosen to feature four of my favorite projects in this post…

Veuve Clicquot Vertical Limit by Porsche Design (photos above). With a limited production of twelve units and a staggering cost of 120,000 Euros, the Vertical Limit is not your ordinary champagne cooler. Its design aesthetic is unmistakably Porsche Design, with those cool, clean metallic lines and warm back-lit interior. Veuve Clicquot’s contribution inside is even more impressive… a collection of twelve vintages; twelve perfect marriages of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. When one of the lucky owners decides to vacate one of the spots in the Vertical Limit, she can fill the empty spot with another one of her favorite vintages. The year of birth of a given vintage is printed on the end of each individual door on a metallic placard. For lack of a better description, this thing’s “baller.”

My other 3 design picks are after the jump…

Veuve Clicquot + Porsche Design: Ice Cube. Set to hit the marketplace in the first quarter of 2009, the Ice Cube is the most recent design collaboration between VC and Porsche Design. It uses a proprietary cooling mechanism that — with a push of a button — cools a bottle to the optimal temperature in twenty minutes and keeps it that way for four hours. Two champagne flutes are included in the cube as well, making it a perfect park (or tailgating) companion. The only downside to the design — and this is me being pretty finicky — is that there are only two four-hour charges. After you’ve exhausted them, you have to use it as an old fashioned ice bucket (which still does the trick, right?) I took the photo below with my iPhone, and Jean at NOTCOT did an exceptional job photographing the Ice Cube prototype, so I’ll refer you to her post for photos. Be looking out for the Ice Cube during the beginning of 2009– “Press. Chill. Share.” Don’t mind if I do!

La Grande Dame by Riva. It was a pleasure to be able to meet and dine with Lia Riva on our first night in Paris. I had seen the Riva + Veuve Clicquot collaboration before, but this was my first time to see it in person (and how great that it was with a living, breathing member of the Riva family). Below is the Cruise Collection, in all of it’s glory — a symbol of the marriage of two luxury brands. Seeing this thing in person — where I was able to feel the materials and get an idea for its true scale — was remarkable.

Globalight. Drawing his inspiration from Veuve Clicquot Rosé, one of our favorite designers, Karim Rashid, designed the Globalight to resemble a chandelier, or on more of a functional level, a centerpiece between two people during an evening of romance. I can tell you that in person, it feels smooth and balanced in your hand, and what’s more, it keeps the champagne at it’s ideal temperature for two hours thanks to a nifty cooling mechanism in the base. When we toured the VC cellars in Reims last week, a veritable army of Globalights kept our path illuminated throughout the over 20 km. of dark tunnels (photo below).



Photos courtesy of Veuve Clicquot