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Going against the flow

China Daily Asia | Updated: 2019-04-26 09:30
Chardonnay Leaf, a work created by Vik Muniz as part of his Ruinart collaboration. [Photo provided to China Daily]

Champagne house Ruinart's creative collaboration with Brazilian artist Vik Muniz

When champagne house Ruinart gave São Paulo-born artist Vik Muniz carte blanche to conjure his own creative vision of the venerable maison of bubbles, Muniz went straight to its foundations: the earth, the vineyards and the roots of the vines themselves – from which Frédéric Panaïotis, Ruinart's cellar master, also takes inspiration for his craft. "I take it as a great positive that you can find this project a little bit edgy," says Ruinart's president, Frédéric Dufour. "One of the objects was to bring some modernity to the brand."

Ruinart is the dark horse of the champagne world – and yet a leading light. For a start, it's the first established champagne house in the world. Forget what you thought you knew about Dom Pérignon divining bubbles in a cellar; Ruinart is 290 years old this year. "We are nearly 300 years old," says Dufour. "So you need to shake the brand a little sometimes, but only insofar as it tells something that is important to the ongoing evolution of the story to us."

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