Ruinart is the oldest producer of champagne, officially founded in 1729 by Nicolas Ruinart, who was the nephew of the monk Dom Thierry Ruinart. This was the dawn of champagne – prior to 25 May 1728, the wine of champagne was not allowed to be commercially transported in bottles.
Nicolas Ruinart passed the management of his champagne house progressively throughout the 1760s to his very capable son, Claude, who was to hold the reins for the next thirty years. It was Claude Ruinart who entered the nobility, when he was created seigneur [lord] de Brimont. Brimont was known then as it is now as an exceptional source for champagne grapes. It was also Claude who had the foresight to purchase the first of the crayères, the underground chalk quarries left by the Romans.
Claude was succeeded by his son Irénée, who sold his champagne to rulers throughout Europe, and notably to the Empress Josephine. It was Edmond, the son of Irénée, who exported champagne to the young United States, meeting President Jackson at the White House in 1831. Throughout the centuries of its lively history, Champagne Ruinart has continued to grow in renown, even as production remains limited by their demands for quality, and distribution is limited by the size of the domestic (French) market. As always, it is known first for the quality of its wines and for their finesse, based on the exceptional Chardonnay grapes that provide its backbone.