Claude Moët (1683–1760) was a Dutch vintner and wine merchant who founded the Champagne house that later became Moët et Chandon. Moët was the first winemaker in Champagne to exclusively produce sparkling wine.
An expert salesman, Moët advocated the importance of personal contact with customers. During the 1730s, he networked extensively within the royal circles of Versailles and soon became one of few merchants accredited to serve the royal court. One of his most loyal customers was Madame de Pompadour. Following his death, the champagne house went to the control of his grandson Jean-Rémy Moët.
For the American journalists Don and Petie Kladstrup, the Moët family can trace its origins to a Dutch soldier named LeClerc who fought alongside Joan of Arc in fending off English attempts at preventing the crowning of Charles VII. As a reward for his service, the king changed his name to Moët.[further explanation needed] This story is far-fetched, although indeed Moët originates from a nickname. From 1351, we find in Reims the trace of three échevins succeeding one another from father to son: Colart, then Pierrat and finally Jean Le Clerc, known as Moët (Joannes, dictus Le Clerc alias Moët) (register of the deliberations of the Reims metropolitan chapter, 1402). In the fourteenth century the family was called Le Clerc, and was nicknamed "LeMoët or Mouet" because of a pout that the first of the three échevins "was in the habit of doing". The word comes from old French moe, that is to say "mouth", then by extension "pout". It was not uncommon at this time for surnames to be nicknames characterizing and differentiating people.
- D. & P. Kladstrup Champagne pg 47-48 Harper Collins Publisher ISBN 0-06-073792-1
- D. & P. Kladstrup Champagne pg 48 Harper Collins Publisher ISBN 0-06-073792-1
- Jacqueline Roubinet and Gilbert & Marie-Thérèse Nolleau Jean-Rémy Moët - Un seigneur du champagne et un politique de talent pg 8 Éditions Stock, Paris ISBN 2234046610