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Drinks distributor Rusty Rabbit launches own-label Champagne

Drinks importer and distributor Rusty Rabbit International has announced the launch of its first own-label release.

Lapin Rouillé Champagne is one of the first female black-owned Champagne brands in Europe, joining one other in the US market in an elite corner of the sparkling wine category.

Sourced from a small single estate producer near Reims, the wine is made from 100 per cent Pinot Meunier grapes - a variety gaining popularity for its delicate, dry and floral flavours.

The release is the brainchild of Nichole Johnson, Rusty Rabbit founder and CEO. As well as her new status in the Champagne world, Ms Johnson is also the world's only female black owner of a liquor importer, exporter and distributor. 

Of her achievement, Ms Johnson said: "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.

"I am lucky to work with some awesome producers, for whom integrity and provenance are the foundation of 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 a brand promise."

The first release of Lapin Rouillé, limited to just over 3,000 bottles, is available through its own website and London 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.


4 February 2021 - Bethany Whymark