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Lapin Rouillé is the UK’s first female black-owned Champagne brand

Nichole Johnson has launched a 100% Pinot Meunier Champagne called Lapin Rouillé in the UK – the first female black-owned Champagne brand to go on sale in Britain.

Nichole Johnson with a bottle of her Lapin Rouillé Champagne

Meaning ‘rusty rabbit’ in French, the Champagne takes its name from Johnson’s drinks distribution company, Rusty Rabbit International.

Going against the grain Lapin Rouillé is made from 100% Pinot Meunier. All of the grapes that go into the blend were sourced from a single grower producer.

Its crimson red bottle and rabbit logo make it stand out from the more traditional Champagnes on the market.

The pale gold fizz is said to offer aromas of “exotic fruit, red berries, spring flowers and a pinch of sea salt, coming together with freshness and delicacy”.

According to its makers it works well both as an apéritif and as a partner for seafood.

“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, 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 product with integrity and a heck of a lot of brand promise,” Johnson said.

The first release of Lapin Rouillé is limited to just over 3,000 bottles. The fizz is on sale via the brand’s website and at luxury department store Harvey Nichols and London retailer Gerry’s.

Lapin Rouillé is the second female black-owned Champagne brand to go on sale in the US – last year Brooklyn-based entrepreneur Marvina Robinson launched Stuyvesant Champagne, named after the Bedford-Stuyvesant neighbourhood where she grew up.

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