The oldest Maison of Champagne

Ruinart, the oldest champagne Maison made the first shipment of champagne Rosé in history in 1764.

Isabel Chuecos-Ruiz. 31/05/2016

Ruinart is the oldest Maison of the Champagne region, founded in 1729 by Nicolas Ruinart in Reims. Today is part of the LVMH empire, owned by French billionaire Bernard Arnault. A little less than three hundred years after the maison has proven to know perpetuate his style and select decade to decade’s best vineyards.

Ruinart, la maison más antigua de Champagne
Ruinart, the oldest maison of Champagne

The champagne was a wine born of chance and conceived from the beginning as a blending wine because they realized that mixing wines from different vintages gave consistency to the wine while marking a style year after year. And this is the reason why today in Champagne made the called ‘non vintage’.

La Maison Ruinart decided to put his prestige cuvee the name: Dom Ruinart, in honor of his uncle Dom Ruinart friend of the famous monk  Dom Pérignon. A champagne that only appears on the market with a minimum of 7 years of aging and is made solely those years where quality is particularly prominent. The oldest Maison de champagne celebrated in 2014 the 250th anniversary of the first shipment of rosé champagne in history.

Ruinart, Reims 1729
Ruinart, Reims 1729

On March 14, 1764 appears for the first time detailed in the book of accounts of the Maison, a movement of exports to northern Germany of a basket of 120 bottles, 60 of which were marked with the name «Oeil de Perdrix» (Partridge’s eye), referring to a delicate pink champagne with coppery highlights, which without doubt it is the first reference in the history of sending bottles of pink Rosé champagne. A champagne deliberately produced with this intense color, probably vinified by maceration method although it is not known for sure.

Cava subterránea de Ruinart en Reims
Underground cellar of Ruinart in Reims

It was not until 1850-60, at the time of Madame Clicquot when it began using the mixing technique to pink. Today is the method most commonly used, and only a small proportion of vignerons and champagne houses use for their pink saignée technique (bleeding or maceration). We could say that between the two methods there is not quality difference is only a matter of choice for each producer.

Crayères Ruinart, una experiencia vinícola
Crayères Ruinart, a wine experience

Last week at the Hotel The Serras 5GL of Barcelona,was ​​the presentation of the cuvée de prestige Dom Ruinart Rosé 2002 he was elected last year the ‘Best Champagne of the Year’ by the only magazine held: Fine Champagne, for its exceptional quality. This cuvee, dominated by Chardonnay owes its uniqueness to its selection of Grands Crus: 80% of Chardonnays from the Côte des Blancs (Avize, Cramant, Le Mesnil-sur-Oger) and the Mountain of Reims (Sillery, Puisieulx), and 20% of Pinot Noir vinified in red from vineyards of Verzenay and Sillery.

El mejor champagne del mundo 2015
The best champagne of the World 2015

Surprising notes of exotic fruits such as guava and lychee add to the expressive aromas of red fruits showing a silky pink champagne on the palate. A champagne that has the ability to age 8 or 10 years should come from the best vineyards and although the terroir concept does not appear on the labels of champagne, everyone knows what we are talking terroir.


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