Champagne Argonne 2008: The most environmentally-friendly packaging in the world, by Shigeru Ban

Argonne G 4

Here is the video presentation of Argonne 2008 from Champagne house Henri Giraud, the new vintage of their iconic cuvee. The packaging of this luxurious limited-edition 2008 vintage has been designed by the Japanese architect Shigeru Ban, winner of the 2014 Pritzker Prize and internationally recognized as one of the greatest contemporary architects.
Working with only simple, organic, beautifully natural materials, he has encased Argonne 2008 in a cardboard tube—one of the architect’s preferred materials—crisscrossed with cardboard batons that cradle the bottle like Mikado sticks. The simple, organic box poetically echoes the extraordinary purity of the Champagne ARGONNE as well as its soft, sensual character. Hand embossed in the Henri Giraud workshops and gilded in gold leaf by the artist Uwe Schaeffer, the packaging is a truly unique and timeless work of art, with a simple yet untamed beauty clearly inspired by the Far East. And enclosed within, a precious bottle of Argonne 2008, a sheer gem of a bottle also embossed with gold leaf, engraved and numbered.

Made exclusively from Pinot Noir and Chardonnay from Henri Giraud’s Grand Cru vines in Aÿ, ARGONNE 2008 has been crafted from grapes which have been weighed, tasted and tracked to the very vine. This policy of transparency can be seen on each bottle, coded and laser engraved at the time of bottling, and again at the moment of labelling, to ensure perfect traceability from grape to glass.

As ARGONNE 2008 is made and aged in small barrels made of oak from the forest of Argonne, Champagne Henri Giraud rigorously selects each individual tree. They are all geo-localized and tracked in partnership with the French Forestry Commission (ONF) directly in the forest; each parcel is identified and branded by the cooper, and the staves are then assembled using buckwheat flour to avoid any traces of gluten. As a result, ARGONNE 2008 can vaunt the excellence and exemplarity that connoisseurs of fine wines expect today.

Claude Giraud, President of Champagne Henri Giraud explains: “With ARGONNE 2008 we have entered a new dimension in wine. Rationality has given way to instinct and intuition. Plus, it has been an immense joy to work with Shigeru Ban, an outstanding individual with a passion for craftsmanship, fine materials and the noble gesture, who was able to perfectly capture the essence of this incredible wine in a box that is the epitome of purity. Argonne 2008 is an extraordinary achievement and an enthralling human enterprise that we are proud to present today. This craft, that our ancestors practiced no doubt by empiricism, is unique in the world. Thanks to our curiosity, we have combined science and experience with passion and expertise.

The most environmentally-friendly packaging in the world, by Shigeru Ban
Shigeru Ban, winner of the 2014 Pritzker Prize (the most prestigious award in architecture) has used cardboard tubes as a medium for over twenty years. This hollow material found in the textile industry or for moulding concrete is available all around the world, at very little cost. Personally committed to the construction of disaster relief shelters, he also employs these tubes in his designs for monumental international architectural projects. This friend of the house of Henri Giraud has brought a fresh visual approach to the ARGONNE 2008 cuvee. He believes that “a great wine can be recognized by the purity of its exterior”. And so he has accomplished the unimaginable in adorning one of the world’s most prestigious champagnes in modest cardboard tubes, simply crisscrossed to give the bottle total support. The result is poetry in packaging.

Watch the video.