Long before the likes of Greta Thunberg and fellow environmental activists were sounding the alarm on climate change—even before Al Gore told us An Inconvenient Truth—those who made their living off the land could already sense the profound shift underway.
“Since the ‘90s, an upheaval has been felt in the land [and] in the vineyard,” Frederic Dufour, Ruinart’s president and CEO, tells Robb Report, “Winegrowers were the first to feel it in their daily life. Climate variations are increasing and accelerating, becoming sudden and unpredictable. They disrupt the vine cycle and the ripening of the grape berry. These profound modifications have an impact on the wine.”
As these changes became more prevalent, Ruinart decided to show wine lovers climate change’s impact the best way they knew how: through the wine itself.
The renowned Champagne house has released a new expression of its Champagne, Ruinart Blanc Singulier Edition 18, which it describes as a “nature-led cuvée that tells the story of a singular year as impacted by environmental factors.”
The Edition 18 refers to 2018, an unusual year that Ruinart’s cellar master Frédéric Panaïotis portends vintages to come. “Because of a warm and sunny season, the vegetative cycle of the vine was very rapid, while the ripe and early harvest began in August,” Panaïotis says. “These particular climactic conditions brought out different aromatic balances, reinforcing our conviction that these variations were bound to recur. We have therefore decided to conceive this unique cuvée to bear witness to the impact of climate change in Champagne,” While all Champagne is affected by the weather of the growing season, the team at Ruinart is choosing to highlight the conditions through this bottling.
In addition to calling attention to the effects of climate change, Ruinart is taking steps to mitigate it as well. One activity is the regeneration of the forest and soil to build a healthier ecosystem. In conjunction with Reforest’Action, an expert in the creation and management of forests, a tree-planting campaign was begun in 2021. By the end of this year, more than 20,000 trees and shrubs will have been planted because of this effort. … Within France, 55 percent of deliveries are made using vehicles powered by natural gas or electric.