All smiles stepping into Maison Ruinart, the first established house of Champagne, way back in 1729.
I first met Chef de Caves Frederic Panaotis in San Francisco in early 2018 (watch the full video interview here). Among many other wise words during that first meeting, Fred said I simply must come to Champagne for a visit… so I did! Thanks to Fred’s generous invitation and the Moet Hennessy team’s incredible hospitality, I was able to plan a weeklong adventure in the Champagne region of France, visiting some of the world’s most legendary champagne houses, including Dom Pérignon (read more here), the incredible Hotel du Marc (a private mansion of Veuve Clicquot’s I had the privilege of visiting), Veuve Clicquot, Ruinart of course and more.
Settling in at Maison Ruinart before our tour. Does it get any cuter than these mini blanc de blanc bottles?
Ruinart has a long history of collaborating with artists, and supporting modern art. The maison is full of breathtaking art, including this dramatic sculpture by Dutch artist Maarten Baas, called “Bouquet de Champagne Dom Ruinart.”
Me and my lovely friend Kat who joined me on the amazing Champagne trip. I’m so used to traveling alone I forget how nice it is to have a fabulous friend joining you who is as enthusiastic about champagne as I am and also a lot of fun!
A beautiful piece of artwork welcoming us to the cellar tour. It’s an interactive Mousetrap-style piece illustrating the Ruinart champagne making process. So fun!
A great photo which shows just how deep the caves are we were entering – the deepest reach almost 40 meters below ground! These caves were used by locals during World War One to hide for over two years. They became villages where people lived, attended schools what incredible rich history.
This was one of my favorite walls during our tour of the winemaking facility. Due to security and the protection of the Ruinart winemaking style, you aren’t allowed to photograph within the winemaking facility. Sorry, you’re just going to have to visit Maison Ruinart yourself for the process peek!
Stepping into the deep, deep caves. They are ancient chalk mines, called crayeres in French.
Views from the cave looking up the stairs to give some perspective of how low we are….
The bottles on the riddling rack. These are hand rotated by the team in this magnificent cave. There is so much that goes into creating the beautiful Ruinart champagnes.
These views go on endlessly. You could easily get lost in these caves so deep in the ground and so massive.
Thanks to the Ruinart team and Chef de Cave Frederic for hosting me to this incredible historic maison. It was beyond my wildest dreams….