Maison Ruinart visit with Chef de Caves Frederic Panaiotis

Maison Ruinart

All smiles as I arrive to Maison Ruinart for a cave tour (read more about the Maison Ruinart caves here) followed by a tasting with Chef de Caves Frederic Panaiotis. If his names sounds familiar it’s because  had the privilege of interview him last Spring in San Francisco. Watch the video interview here.

Maison Ruinart

The stunning exterior of Maison Ruinart

Maison Ruinart

Arriving to Maison Ruinart and being welcomed in the beautiful salon with our tour guide.

Maison Ruinart

The incredible art display at Maison Ruinart. If you’re not aware, Ruinart has some amazing artistic partnerships one of which is below which I saw during our Maison Ruinart tour and tasting. It’s absolutely stunning in person!

Maison Ruinart Tasting with Chef de Caves Frederic Panaiotis

Maison Ruinart

Me and my lovely friend Kat who joined for the Champagne adventure. Kat may adore Champagne even more than I do so she was the perfect travel partner for this trip!

Maison Ruinart Tasting with Chef de Caves Frederic Panaiotis

Chef de Cave Frederic (or Fred) opening some of the Ruinart Champagne we tasting during our guided tasting together.

Maison Ruinart Tasting with Chef de Caves Frederic Panaiotis

The Ruinart Blanc de Blancs was the first wine we tasted. This is a non-vintage (which means it’s made with a few different years of grapes vs. just one specific year for example 2012 which only had 2012 grapes). The blend is 100% Chardonnay from various years, with 20-25% which are reserve wines from the previous two years. Remember, Ruinart is a Chardonnay house and “Chardonnay is the very soul of Ruinart.  The grape, mainly harvested from the Côte des Blancs and Montagne de Reims terroirs, is at the heart of all our cuvées.”

Frederic Panaiotis Maison Ruinart

As we were tasting Fred was showing us some of the wine growing regions on the tissue paper map. This was fun and educational as I haven’t visited most of the vineyards in Champagne yet (this will be on my second trip). During this trip we spent most of our time touring the Champagne houses and meeting with the winemakers and team so it was great to hear Fred show us the various grape growing regions the Ruinart Wines come from.

Maison Ruinart Tasting with Chef de Caves Frederic Panaiotis

Maison Ruinart Tasting with Chef de Caves Frederic Panaiotis

The 2004 Dom Ruinart Rosé. This was absolutely my favorite of the wines we tried. It was beyond delicate, beautiful and so perfect. This was my first time enjoying such an old vintage of Dom Ruinart and it may be a while before I get to again so I really treasured tasting this wine.

Maison Ruinart Tasting with Chef de Caves Frederic Panaiotis

I may have had seconds of this Rosé, it was that incredible…

Frederic Panaiotis Maison Ruinart

Frederic Panaiotis Maison Ruinart

Fred showing us some of the vineyard locations as we tasted and chatted through the wines together.

Maison Ruinart Tasting with Chef de Caves Frederic Panaiotis

Maison Ruinart Tasting with Chef de Caves Frederic Panaiotis

Maison Ruinart Tasting with Chef de Caves Frederic Panaiotis

After the tasting we played foosball. If you’re noticing a trend it does seem that the Champagne Houses love their foosball, first Veuve Clicquot and now Ruinart!

Maison Ruinart Tasting with Chef de Caves Frederic Panaiotis

All smiles after our informative and delicious tasting with Fred. He really is so talented and has so much information to share. I felt so lucky to get to spend the afternoon with him at the stunning Maison Ruinart.

Maison Ruinart Tasting with Chef de Caves Frederic Panaiotis

Thanks again to my friend Fred. I can’t wait to return to Ruinart on my next visit to Champagne! 

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