Act One begins at the eruption of the French Revolution in 1789. Young Barbe-Nicole Ponsardin must be rescued from her boarding school by the family’s Dressmaker, as an angry mob floods the streets of Reims, France.
Ten years later, Barbe-Nicole dreams of inheriting her father’s textile business. Instead, Nicolas Ponsardin has arranged for her to marry François Clicquot, the son of his primary business rival. Much to everyone’s surprise, Barbe-Nicole and François fall madly in love. With his passion for wine and her business savvy, they defy their fathers’ wishes and run Clicquot Wines as a team. The couple marries in a secret Catholic ceremony deep in the Clicquot wine cellars.
In order to expand into the international market, François hires charming salesman extraordinaire, Louis Bohne. Just as they start making progress, François’s health takes a turn which tragically leads to his death. Utterly heartbroken, Barbe-Nicole makes the shocking decision to follow her instincts, save Clicquot Wines from liquidation and run the company alone.
Act Two begins five years later. The volatile Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte wreaks havoc across Europe. Barbe-Nicole and Louis make several attempts to secure a foothold in the international wine market, but are thwarted at every turn by the well-connected
and established vintner, Jean-Rémy Moët. Undaunted by these setbacks, Barbe-Nicole focuses on her craft. She invents the riddling table, which guarantees a crystal-clear blend.
In 1814, the Cossacks drive back Napoleon’s army across France, destroying everything in sight. Rather than hiding and waiting for her cellars to be pillaged, Barbe-Nicole decides to face them – not with fear, but with wine!
Only a few months later, the war is over, Napoleon is in exile…but Barbe-Nicole is on the brink of financial ruin. In a final gambit to save Clicquot Wines, she risks everything she has left and ships the last of her Champagne in secret to Russia. Ten thousand bottles of her Vin de la Comète arrive in St. Petersberg in perfect condition before any of her competitors’ wines. As the show ends, Barbe-Nicole has finally won, but her Champagne legacy is just beginning.