Ruinart

Represented by Frédéric Panaïotis

Ruinart has been commercially producing sparkling champagne since 1729, giving them the honor of being the oldest champagne-producing house in the region. While the house of Gosset traces its ancestry back to its founding in Aÿ in 1584, and is thus legitimately the oldest existing wine house in Champagne, the wines at this time were still, not sparkling. Throughout the 17th century, wine was sold exclusively in cask, and it wasn't until 1728 that wine was legally permitted to be shipped in bottle, permitting the sale of bottle-fermented champagnes. In 1729, Nicolas Ruinart founded the house that bears his name, and the firm has been producing sparkling wines ever since.

The business remained in family hands through the first part of the 20th century, at first under the direction of André Ruinart de Brimont, and then by André's wife Charlotte after his death in 1919. In 1925, the house passed into the hands of their son Gérard Ruinart de Brimont, the last of that name to head this historic firm. This period would prove trying, marked first by the worldwide financial crisis and then by the Second World War, which brought an abrupt halt to export activities. Following the war, Gérard Ruinart de Brimont passed the direction of the house over to Bertrand Mure, a relative of the Ruinart family on his mother's side. In the face of the house's financial difficulties, Mure sought financial assistance from Baron Philippe de Rothschild, but even this was not a long-term solution, and in 1963, the house of Ruinart was sold to the Moët & Chandon group.

Today Ruinart is part of LVMH, the luxury goods group that owns Moët & Chandon, as well as the champagne houses of Veuve Clicquot, Dom Pérignon and Krug, among others. Jean-Marc Gallot was recently appointed as Ruinart's managing director, while Frédéric Panaïotis is the house's chef de cave.

Information courtesy of Peter Liem's ChampagneGuide.net ©