We’re here at last! Today is the start of Black History Month in the USA, a time of celebration, recognition and debate that has been adopted by countries the world over. 

For us personally, it’s an opportunity to celebrate our own tiny contribution to what many greater and more noble people have contributed to before.

A couple of weeks back, Rusty Rabbit International launched a new premium champagne brand. Lapin Rouillé Champagne is the first release by Rusty Rabbit Drinks – the drinks division of Rusty Rabbit International in London and is the baby of Nichole Johnson, our founder and CEO. Significantly it is heralded as the first (and only) female black-owned champagne in Europe.

Nichole Johnson Lapin Rouille Owner

Nichole Johnson, International Bootlegger

Sourced from a small single estate producer near Reims, at the centre of the champagne region, Lapin Rouillé is crafted from 100% Pinot Meunier grapes, a champagne variety that is rapidly gaining in popularity for its delicate, dry and floral flavours. Lapin Rouillé follows in the footsteps (or pawprints) of similar pre-eminent Champagne cuvées from the likes of Billecart-Salmon, Laherte and Egly-Ouriet.

With Nichole as its CEO, Rusty Rabbit International is already the only female black-owned liquor importer, exporter and distributor in the world, with certification in 152 countries, and its business base is growing steadily.

“Shouting about the diversity in the industry is a fantastic way of bringing even more passion, more innovation and more entrepreneurship.”

Johnson is profoundly proud of her achievement, saying “my aim with Rusty Rabbit is to create and to curate premium drinks brands from around the world and to promote them to the world. The world of wine and liquor is filled with people passionate about what they produce. Shouting about the diversity in the industry is a fantastic way of bringing even more passion, more innovation and more entrepreneurship. And being able to play our own part in this year’s Black History Month just makes the feeling even better.

“I am lucky to work with some awesome producers, from whom integrity and provenance are the foundation to their work. With Lapin Rouillé, I am super proud to join those brand owners and offer a world-class drinks product, with real product integrity and a heck of brand promise.”

The first release of Lapin Rouillé is limited to just over three thousand bottles. It’s available through our own website (lapinrouille.com), through the iconic London luxury department store Harvey Nichols (harveynichols.com) and through the well-established London drinks retailer Gerry’s (gerrys.uk.com).

And to add a cherry to the top of our sparkly cupcake, we have also collaborated with the inimitable Harvey Nichols and the new and impossibly talented chocolatiers at Cartografie to offer an exclusive Valentine’s Day Champagne gift bag. Containing a bottle of our exquisite Lapin Rouillé Champagne and a box of bespoke Cartografie chocolates (hand filled to pair perfectly with the champagne), this gift is a very limited edition.

Hop over to Harvey Nichols website and order one of the best champagne collaborations available online.

Lapin Rouille Champagne

Tasting note:

Pale gold in color, with deep gold reflections and fine, persistent beading. Bounces around the palate with springy exuberance, Displays exotic fruit, red berries, spring flowers and a pinch of sea salt, coming together with freshness and delicacy. A perfect aperitif and pairs beautifully with seafood, in particular salmon and shellfish.

Leave a Reply