Lapin Rouillé Champagne, which means “Rusty Rabbit” – has become the first and only female black-owned Champagne brand in Europe.
Sourced from a small single estate producer near Reims, Nichole Johnson’s Rusty Rabbit is made from 100 per cent Pinot Meunier grapes.
Johnson’s Rusty Rabbit Drinks portfolio includes Brentingby True Craft Gin, Revel Spirits, California’s Blinking Owl Distillery, New Orleans’ Seven-Three Distillery, South Africa’s Copper Republic Distillery, and Nevada’s Bentley Heritage Estate Distillery. Rusty Rabbit International has offices in Dallas, Texas and Old Compton Street in Soho.
Calling herself an “international bootlegger”, Johnson says shouting about the diversity in the industry is a “fantastic way of bringing even more passion, more innovation and more entrepreneurship. The world of wine and liquor is filled with people passionate about what they produce.”
Johnson, it is fair to say, does not have your regular champagne label owner origin story. She worked for the McDonald’s Corporation’s Urban Marketing department in Chicago before leaving to set up her own venture.
The first release of Rusty Rabbit’s £46.95 Lapin Rouillé, limited to just over 3,000 bottles, is available through the brand’s website and from Soho drinks retailer Gerry’s.
Ahead of Valentine’s Day, the brand has also collaborated with Harvey Nichols and chocolatier Cartografie to create an exclusive Valentine’s Day gift bag, containing a bottle of Lapin Rouillé Champagne and a box of bespoke Cartografie chocolates matched to the wine.
For more information go to the Rusty Rabbit website here.