On the blogby Alfred
February 6 2020

1729: Ruinart, the oldest Champagne domain

by Pasquale Charland

To evoke the name Champagne without thinking of Ruinart is practically impossible. Almost 300 years of history is not commonplace. To enter the Ruinart universe in the very heart of Reims is to feel very privileged.

All this impressive and long history, this majestic domain, the famous chalk, the splendor of the site itself, without forgetting the delicacy and the great reputation of its excellent champagnes recognized all over the world. In this grandiose environment, everything breathes beauty and luxury, refinement and finesse: art is everywhere.

It was decided here to give a lot of importance and to showcase some outstanding and internationally renowned artists. Gardens worthy of Versailles, beautiful and comfortable small rooms where you are invited to taste products privately. A domain like this, you will understand, is not open to everyone and we can understand why. It is in a category of its own, very unique in fact.Ruinart rhymes with prestige, luxury, greatness, refinement, delicacy of detail, every little thing is scrupulously studied to get that perfection constantly as in the way of making their precious wine. After announcing myself at the gate, I was guided to the parking space then towards the home where Ms. Françoise Sastre, receptionist, greeted me.

Sitting in one of these sumptuous and cozy lounges, she tells me an impressive story. I will spare you, because far from me the desire to put in writing nearly 300 years of history … I will never be able to summarize all of it. It must be known that everything started from King Louis XV who authorized the transport of bottles of wine in May 1728 and that it did not take more to Claude Ruinart, then cloth trader, to see all the profit he could draw from this new opportunity. He then founded the first champagne domain in Épernay in 1729. The generations succeeded themselves and it is the heirs of Claude Ruinart who managed until 1963, year in which the house associated with Moët & Chandon. In 1987, it was the turn of the LVMH group to acquire it.

Visiting the chalk pits where the bottles are aging is synonymous to taking a trip back in time and understanding how the city of Reims was built using the extraction of stones. To understand how much each bottle receives its particular attention is also to understand why we call champagne “Champagne”. 3,300,000 bottles are produced annually. Everything is harvested manually. The vines are on average 25 years old, producing 90% Pinot Noir and 10% Pinot Meunier for the red varietals. For the white varietals, it is 100% Chardonnay on a total of 17 ha.

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