A few days ago, I joined Ruinart for a very special trip to France: a celebration of art and champagne and the unveiling of Ruinart’s new artist for this year’s art collaboration.

The journey started with a private viewing of the pop-up exhibition at Carrousel du Louvre in Paris, where photographer Erwin Olaf toured us through his artworks. Black and white photographs, which he took inside the historical „Crayères“ in Reims, at Maison Ruinart (which belongs to the UNESCO World Heritage since last year).

The first time I heard about THE „Crayères“ was at Art Basel 2014, when I was speaking with Goergia Russell. She was Ruinart’s collaborating artist at that time. She was so passionate about that place and the time she had spent there. So I told myself: you need to see it. And I did: Last year Ruinart invited me to the Maison Ruinart to spend a day there, tasting vintage champagnes and diving into the fascinating history. I travel, I explore and I get to see a lot in my life. But the caves at Maison Ruinart are a truly unique spot, that goes beyond ordinary – especially for champagne enthusiasts like me.

So, as you can imagine, I was very excited for the unveiling of this year’s new artist. It was so special for me to see these photographs of the Crayères Ruinart and to recognize and remember some of the spots on the photographs.

During the exhibition, the ice-cold Ruinart Blanc de Blancs not only animated us to take photos of the art works, but also to be creative and draw some messages and artsy ideas on the black cave walls at the exhibition, as you can see on the photos below. (…the original drawings inside the caves at Ruinart were the footprints of the workers from back in the years, when the Ruinart Crayères were built.)

The exhibition and the event were followed by a small and exclusive dinner at a private art collectors house in St. Germain des Pres, Paris, where this collaboration was celebrated with the Ruinart Team and a few selected guests and clients – with of course, even more Ruinart(s).

And can you guess, where the journey with Ruinart ended on the next day? At Maison Ruinart in Reims. Back at one of my most favorite spots in the world, touring the Crayères together with Ruinart and Erwin Olaf, visiting the spots, he had shot for his exhibition and listening to what had inspired him about his selection and the time he had spent at the caves…

«SERENITY AND TIME are necessary for the ageing of champagne. Likewise they are required to achieve your art.»

 Erwin Olaf


This week Art Basel has started in Hong Kong, where the collaboration has been officially unveiled and showcased to the public. I can’t wait to join Ruinart and Erwin Olaf for some further great events and exhibitions this year. Next stop: Art Basel in Basel.

Photos: Ruinart, Nel-Olivia Waga