THE CREATION OF RUBY – MUCH MORE THAN A WINE.
FLOATING ALL BOATS: WHY RUBY?
When Frank and Riki Campbell moved to Chateau de Fayolle to begin a new chapter in their life together in 2019, they did so with the same drive, ambition and passion that had been their working mantra for years. They also brought with them a strong sense of community and a desire to develop a business that would give back to the community it was part of.
“A rising tide floats all boats”
Not satisfied with producing a range of excellent wines that would put Chateau de Fayolle firmly on the wine tourism map in the Southwest of France, they quickly came to believe that the Bergerac wine region deserved more attention and respect and set themselves the task of creating something very special that would help raise the reputation of the appellation as a whole. They are firm believers in the philosophy of rising tides! Three years after the initial idea and after twenty-four months of careful nurturing and incubation in French oak barrels, the dream was realized.
Six thousand miles away in their native USA, a new grandchild was also about to be born and there it was … Ruby gave her name to the eponymous wine produced lovingly by her grandparents.
WHAT IF…? RUBY, THE WINE
Harvested from the best Merlot vines planted in 2007 and from one perfect little plot of Cabernet Sauvignon planted in 2015, the rocky plateau of limestone and clay gives RUBY (67% Merlot and 33% Cabernet Sauvignon) the most beautiful depth of colour, richness, and complexity, acknowledging dense chocolate, cloves, and coffee, supported by the underlying toasty flavours of hand-selected premium French oak barrels.
Despite the complexity of its production, RUBY started life as a simple, and slightly crazy idea around the kitchen table. What if we took our best-selling Chateau de Fayolle Sang de Sanglier red and threw even more love and attention at it – leaving it to rest even longer in the most beautiful French oak barrels – at least 24 months? What if we used that rare jewel of a limited production to create a wine crafted with passion and attention to detail like no other in the region?
And then one night over dinner and a few too many glasses of wine with friends Mike and Lee we started discussing the project and a spark was lit. What if we paired our limited-edition wine with limited edition art? What if we took a percentage of revenue from sales to fund a Foundation that would support the youth of our local villages?
And so, three years later, in collaboration with internationally renowned artist, Michael F Rumsby, a resident of Saussignac, we have created an exceptional red wine – 493 numbered bottles – that we are all proud to label as Chateau de Fayolle RUBY.
RUBY ART: ENHANCING THE BEAUTY OF OUR WINE
We wanted to ensure that drinking a fine wine like RUBY creates an experience that is more than just about consuming the wine inside the bottle.
For generations, Saussignac and the surrounding villages have produced wine; the vines protected and tended for by families whose hard work has produced some of the finest and most under-recognised wines in France. Many of these families see their work as a true art form. This artisanal approach to wine production – often in relatively small quantities – hasn’t changed, and today Saussignac is known for its determination to drive the organic wine market. But also increasingly for its rising number of resident artists who are adding a creative buzz that is alive and flourishing in the village. From sculptors and jewellery makers to painters and chefs, the village and its people recognise that creativity is a driving force for the soul, making Saussignac a very happy place to make delicious wine, great art and good times.
It seemed only logical that to enhance the beauty of RUBY we would collaborate with a local artist who is garnering international recognition through his astonishingly beautiful paintings inspired by the natural beauty of local landscapes. The collaboration with Michael F. Rumsby Art began in 2022 after that fateful dinner when he agreed to start work on a design for the RUBY 2020 label. The painting he produced is an explosion of ruby reds, vermillion, crimsons and gold. On seeing the painting, we all knew we had to take it further and create something very special with the packaging for all the wine and even more special for the Magnums and Double Magnums.
The end result is a beautiful label for all the wines and a limited-edition of 18 magnums and 12 double magnums each individually numbered and presented in a bespoke, hand-painted wooden box, signed by the artist. Michael painted each of these box lids as one “canvas” which was then split into individual pieces so that collectors will also have the opportunity to invest in a number of sequential panels that will create a larger work of art.
Michael is represented by Clarendon Fine Art in the UK and USA where his work has become highly collectable. His collaboration with Chateau de Fayolle provides lovers of fine art and wine with a rare opportunity to acquire an original piece of his work at extremely competitive rates.
THE RUBY FOUNDATION: BUSINESS AS A FORCE FOR GOOD & COMMUNITY GIVING
The collaboration between Chateau de Fayolle and Michael F Rumsby Art is not only an artistic one. Whilst its roots are firmly embedded in a passion for beauty and a desire to seek perfection in their specialist areas of creativity – wine and art – these two local businesses also believe passionately that business should be a force for good. Both are already active donors to charitable causes but with Ruby came an opportunity to explore how we could contribute further to the local community that we are now part of; a community that has openly welcomed many outsiders from other parts of the world to its beautiful villages and hamlets dotted throughout the vines that criss-cross the land.
We are delighted to share that THE RUBY FOUNDATION is being established by Frank & Riki and Michael and his husband, Lee McNeal, to provide funding to causes that benefit the youth of our community. One example of potential funding would be a scholarship to a young person in the community (16-25) seeking support to further their vocation through an educational or training opportunity in the wine industry or creative arts. Another example might be providing funding for playgrounds or ball fields. There are certainly many others.
The funds will come from at least 20% of the annual sales of each Ruby vintage. We expect to be able to fund approximately €7000 of projects each year that RUBY is produced.
The precise details of the foundation and the process for the distribution of funds will be launched and communicated at the beginning of 2024.
MICHAEL F RUMSBY ART
“What excites me is the infinite beauty out there in the world that I have yet to discover”.
Following a successful corporate career working with multi-national brands including L’Oreal and The Body Shop, Michael F Rumsby (b. 1968, Suffolk) became a full-time artist in 2013. He has exhibited extensively around the world including The Majilis Gallery and Park Hyatt Hotels in Dubai, Chapel Gallery in the UK, and is today represented by Clarendon Fine Art in the UK and USA.
His work is held in corporate and private collections around the world, and he has been artist in residence with British Polo Day. Rumsby lives with his husband, Lee McNeal, in Saussignac, Southwest France, where they run a boutique hotel (www.le1500.rocks).
Crédit Photos : David MARMIER