Ruinart: the origins of champagne

If it’s the vines that give birth to our champagnes, it’s well below there that they grow. Here, 38 meters under our feet, the underground chalk tunnels has been keeping watch for 60 million years.

The sea, in pulling back from these lands and smoothing out all of the crayères mud that had accumulated, strengthened and transformed this ground into chalk. And thus, the chalk pits came to life. We’ve been making our gems here since the 18th century and these most prestigious sparkling wine were granted UNESCO World Heritage status in 2015.

For novices, the crayères are true labyrinths; only the initiated can understand. They’re the ones who know that when you come down the massive staircase, supported only by a wrought iron railing, you’ll soon find yourself in a maze of tunnels…

We can still find new ones today! Here, the stretched-out bottles slumber, lying upside-down on the racks. Here still, these precious containers are shielded from the other side of the champagne mirror. A must-see in Reims, with eyes wide open.