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By Hubert le Gall

a tribute to the notion of time

The glass calendar

Hubert tells a story of Ruinart, the oldest champagne house, a story that has its origins in the vineyards of Champagne. In the Sillery vineyards, he discovered chardonnay, the grape variety that symbolizes the House.The sun’s rays strengthen the grape’s deep transparency and luminosity which we also find in the House’s iconic cuvée: Blanc de Blancs. Hubert pays tribute to the passage of time, marked by the rhythm of the seasons and the work of man, through this series of 12 sculptures that each represents a month of the year. The vine becomes a symbol around which the seasons flow at a constant rate, bringing the transformations needed for the birth of champagne.

Man and nature are at the heart of this beautiful artistic story.

the vineyards in march

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January
January
The sky is low and heavy. The vine is covered by a soft white coat of snow that accumulates at its feet. Nature is sleeping. In the cold light, a silhouette is making the most of this peace to prune the vine, a long, painstaking task which he is enjoying despite the biting cold.
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February
February
The pruning continues in order to make the sap rise. This sap feeds the plant: the vine is weeping. Hubert has represented its tears with blue drops that defy the winter. The snow is transformed into an icy, gleaming coat. From time to time a ray of sunlight pierces the frost, casting its bright light onto the vine.
March
March

Man, ever present in the vineyard, prepares the vine’s growth linking its branches and stalks. He guides it so that it will give the best of itself, preparing it to receive everything it will need for its development, in particular sun and water. Like a vessel, it is ready to receive the essence of life.

April
April

This work symbolizes the reassertion of life as the vine slowly emerges from winter. The buds begin to burst. A tender green color, the rising sap expands at the base of the vine. The buds swell, evoking the translucent beauty of new life.

May
May

The swallows have arrived and are circling happily in the sky. The days are lengthening as spring awakens and nature blossoms. The delicate shoots reveal the nascent bunches whose transparency and roundness already evoke the elegant finesse of Blanc de Blancs. The vine continues to hold itself back, however. Taking time is essential. The vineyard worker disbuds, discarding the shoots that have few or no grapes in order to retain only the very best.

June
June

The time for flowering and development has arrived. The vine is exploding, its growth now accelerating, and it will need to be tamed and trained by man. The sun darts its rays at each plant, sparkling on the stones that cover the ground between the rows of vines; Hubert has conveyed the silver reflections that lend the vine its iridescence. The vine converses with its surroundings.

July
July

The flowering gives way to the fruit set during which the flower is transformed into seeds. The vine is capped by a transparent yellow bell that envelops it like an incubator while the sun breathes life into it. The container at the base shows the extent to which the vine is opening up to receive everything it needs to nourish itself and develop.

August
August

The wood of the vine has completely disappeared beneath the abundance of leaves and fruit. As far as the eye can see, green waves have spread across the slopes of Champagne. The seed is reaching maturity, attaining its full size and changing colour. Man remains very attentive. He places the vine under a bell like a reliquary, observing it carefully. These final moments before the harvest are absolutely crucial. The vine needs sun and water. These drops, so essential to its growth, are represented by the transparent spheres that crown the sculpture. The luminous yellow cup represents the sun and its beneficial effects.

September
September

The long awaited moment has at last arrived: the harvest. Throughout the vineyard swarms of harvesters, like bees, are picking the grapes that will later become champagne. Juice flows from the fine golden bunches, already effervescent before it reaches the glass. Likewise is Hubert’s work with his choice of glass dotted with small bubbles and whose transparency evokes that of Blanc de Blancs. It is topped by bubbles that suggest the sparkling wine dancing in the glass for our delight.

October
October

The vine withdraws into itself, the leaves curling up and falling, revealing the wood once again. Man does not interfere. He observes the colours as they change from green to ochre.

November
November

The movement towards the ground accelerates. Everything is falling, absorbed by the ground. The vine will be nourished by this providential fertilizer. The vineyard worker begins to shape the vine by pruning it.

December
December

Time stands still. The vine is closing up like a box to hibernate. Everything darkens, losing its transparency. Each plant builds up its strength awaiting rebirth.

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The masterpiece

Hubert le Gall

French artist and scenographer

Hubert le Gall was born in Lyon in 1961. After graduating in management, he decided to move to Paris in 1983. Five years later, he began to exercise his creative talents there, designing functional and poetic pieces of furniture and working as a scenographer for numerous French and international exhibitions.

Hubert’s work as an artist is inspired by symbols. His works always tell a story, original and full of fantasy, a mirror image of his own personality.

When Hubert considered glass for expressing his vision of the House of Ruinart, Murano with its master glassmakers, immediately seemed the obvious place for him to work. Their ancestral expertise is as old as that of our champagne House and like ours is recognized worldwide. The choice of master glassmaker was evidently important as well, as this artisan would have to materialize Hubert’s ideas and drawings. Eventually, the Berengo Studio was chosen as it works with leading contemporary artists.

A day with hubert le gall
in the murano glass factory

Hubert tells a story of Ruinart,
the oldest Champagne house.
A story that has its origins
in the vineyards of Champagne.

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