For three days this February (9-11), Ruinart is offering oenophiles in London the opportunity to get under the skin of one of Champagne’s most famous grapes – and enjoy some fine art too – at a unique pop-up called The Lighthouse (tickets for which are £35).
Housed in a private residence in Waterloo, The Lighthouse (first picture) will take guests on a sensory journey through the origin, history and other aspects of the Chardonnay grape, the varietal responsible for Ruinart’s celebrated Blanc de Blancs. As well as learning what makes Ruinart tick, guests will also enjoy a tasting of four Ruinart cuvées: the signature Blanc de Blancs (second picture), the Ruinart Rosé and two prestige cuvées, Dom Ruinart 2004 and Dom Ruinart Rosé 2002.
Ruinart has been a long-time supporter of contemporary art, and the gallery-style exhibit will also feature works inspired by the champagne. French artist and scenographer Hubert Le Gall, whose Ruinart Blanc de Blancs collection was unveiled at London’s Masterpiece art fair last year, will be showing six sculptures from his The Glass Calendar, a work exploring the way in which the sun hits the Chardonnay grapes of Ruinart’s Sillery vineyards at different times of year. Hervé van der Straeten has also found inspiration in the luminosity of the Chardonnay grape for his Miroir ice bucket. Designed specifically for the Ruinart Blanc de Blancs, this is a limited-edition, silver-plated reinterpretation of an 18th-century ice bucket.
A metalwork champagne cooler by Ron Arad, a portrait of Dom Ruinart by Gideon Rubin and a paper sculpture by Georgia Russell made from a facsimile of the original Ruinart account book will also form part of the collection, along with a series of limited-edition wooden crates by Piet Hein Eek that pay tribute to Ruinart, the first champagne house to use wooden crates to ship its wines.