Everything Gourmet

It’s Champagne and Art Time with Ruinart

Artist Jeppe Hein discovers the historic vineyard of Ruinart in the company of Fredéric Panaïotis, the cellar master of the Maison Ruinart. Photo©Mathieu Bonnevie 2022. Courtesy Ruinart. Handou via The Gourmet Gazette

Paris, France — Ruinart, founded in 1729 and regarded as the oldest champagne house, remains one of its most innovative giving a Carte Blanche to a contemporary artist each year to create an extraordinary experience. This year the Danish visual artist Jeppe Hein created Right Here, Right Now, an invitation to seize the moment, to awaken the senses through an interactive and fun installation work punctuated by art works of uplifting bubbles, bubbles and more bubbles. The show kicked off in the spectacular Seine-level gallery of the Palais de Tokyo in Paris last March 31st and will travel to major art fairs through December that the house of Ruinart actively supports, including the Biennale of Venice, Art Brussels, Frieze New York, FIAC Paris, Art Week Tokyo and Art Basel Miami Beach.

A speech bubble by Jeppe Hein for Ruinart’s Carte Blanche 2022. Photo courtesy Ruinart. Handout via The Gourmet Gazette

For Jeppe Hein, making and tasting champagne – from the moment the grapes are harvested to the moment the wine sparkles in your mouth – is a total sensory experience, an experience he transposed into this art installation experience. The artist visited Ruinart’s vineyards and cellars in Reims where he saw the morning mist in the vineyards, held the chalk of the cellars of the famous Crayères (the chalk caves of Champagne country), in his hands and all of this he shares in this five senses experience. The idea is to appeal to the five senses and to focus in on the four elements of earth (soil), water (rain), air, (wind), and fire (sun) all essential to champagne making. And so the visitor has a mirror to look into, a piece of chalk to draw with, a scent to smell and a raisin to taste.

Danish artist Jeppe Hein receives a piece of chalk to draw with as he sees himself in the mirror. This is part of the interactive experience for visitors that the artist developed for Ruinart’s Carte Blanche 2022. Photo courtesy Ruinart. Handout via The Gourmet Gazette

It is a circular champagne event with Ruinart reaching out to the world through art once again. The joyful exhibition was underscored by the enticing interactive experience starting with chalk from the house’s extensive chalk cellars in Reims handed into your hand by a hand hidden inside one of the artist’s monumental drawings. The visitor is then invited to draw onto a background painted by the artist his or her heartfelt feelings. Another hand sprays the scent of the flowers of the Chardonnay grape variety onto your hand to see how you react to the fragrance of champagne, while another gives you a Chardonnay raisin to eat methodically while concentrating on the taste and what you are feeling.

The limited edition jeroboam for Champagne Ruinart Rosé designed by Jeppe Hein. Photo courtesy Ruinart. Handout via The Gourmet Gazette

Chardonnay is the grape variety used in the house of Ruinast’s Blanc de Blancs champagne, a favorite in households of the world. The artist has also designed a limited edition bottle for a jeroboam of Champagne Ruinart Rosé, a blend of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir grape varieties, which has been brought out in a limited edition of just 25 bottles in a boxed set. The jeroboam offers a large bottle with a low air volume resulting in slower oxygenation favoring freshness and aromatic richness. The limited editions will be presented at the art fairs that the Maison Ruinart partners with and is priced at 3500 euros.
©Trish Valicenti for The Gourmet Gazette

Colored Walls of bubbles with a speech bubble by Jeppe Hein for Ruinart’s Carte Blanche 2022. Photo courtesy Ruinart. Handout via The Gourmet Gazette

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