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As one of the pioneers of sustainability, the Ruinart champagne house is taking great strides in cultivation and maturation. Moreover, Chef de Cave Frédéric Panaïotis uses natural corks instead of crown corks for the bottle fermentation and ageing of his prestige cuvée Dom Ruinart in the future. Kristine Bäder found out from him why he expects the wines to have more structure, freshness and greater potential.

That 2010 would be a year for a Dom Ruinart was not immediately apparent from the course of the year and the harvest. A promising spring and an average summer took a turn for the worse when torrential downpours began in August as the grapes began to ripen. Combined with high temperatures, botrytis infestation spread, especially in Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier. Even some Chardonnay vineyards were not spared from the fungus. "In the autumn after the harvest, I would not have predicted that we would produce a Dom Ruinart in 2010," says Frédéric Panaïotis. "But the first tastings of the still wines showed great richness and potential, especially in the Chardonnay."

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