Facing the Challenges of Growing a Wine Company with Jordane Andrieu

photo: Heritage Fine Wines

photo: Heritage Fine Wines

Jordane Andrieu (@heritagefinewines) is the owner of Heritage Fine Wines wine store and bar located in Beverley Hills & proprietor of Domain Clos du Moulins aux Moins in Burgundy.

In this episode, Jordane and I dig into his story, how he went from working for an engineering company in Paris to running an estate in Burgundy while studying viticulture & oenology and converting the vineyard to organic. He shares with us the trials and tribulations that goes into making world class wine in Burgundy and how Pablo Picasso’s godson designed wine labels for him.

We then get into the story behind him moving from Burgundy to Los Angeles without speaking any English. Then on top of that figuring out how to start Heritage, his wine shop and bar in Beverley Hills, jumping through all of the regulatory hoops, and probably the greatest challenge of educating consumers on the wines, how he markets the business, and overcoming the cultural differences of business in general.

Jordane has an incredible story and one that continues to evolve each day. He has big plans for the next few years which he tells us about as well.

Before we get into the show, have you subscribed to the podcast yet and left us a review? If not, please do so. It helps other passionate wine lovers like yourself find it! It’s also super simple to do. Just go on to your podcasting app on your phone, find the podcast and click subscribe. There will be another button to leave a review as well. Thanks for doing that! I really appreciate it!


Transcript

Jordane: My name is Jordane Andrieu from Paris and I moved to Burgundy to take care of my dad’s vineyard. That’s where I spent many years and I did my Enology Diploma in Burgundy. I have a Masters in Business, an MBA in Entrepreneurship and an Enology Diploma as well so I moved to Burgundy. My dad purchased a vineyard in Auxey-Duresses next to Meursault. And Meursault is pretty well-known for their Chardonnay. The vineyard is the oldest vineyard around. It was created by the monks in 962 AD so it’s like a very, very old property, very historical and so I moved there. I changed my life, a city life to countryside. So I was a little shocked but I learned a lot and I’m very thankful for the experience. I started like a new chapter of my life in 2013. I moved to Los Angeles to build my own little company. I opened a wine bar and wine store in the Golden Triangle of Beverly Hills. It’s called Heritage Fine Wines and I’ve been running the business for two and a half years. It’s doing very well and I’m currently looking for expansions to open another location and give up the licenses of franchise, which I have already because I have already a licensed store that I opened a year and a half ago in South Korea.

C:  That’s cool. So when you moved to Burgundy and studied Enology and started taking over at the estate, was that kind of your formative introduction to wine or did you grow up with wine at all?

J: I like to say that, you know when you’re French, wine is kind of in your DNA. So, it’s a part of your culture, part of your education, part of your heritage, and therefore, you are introduced to wine pretty early but I was not like a very crazy to wine, studying wine, doing wine dinners or being in a wine club. I can say that my real introduction to wine is when I projected into this vineyard with this opportunity. I was not at all in the wine industry before. And when I had this opportunity that my dad gave me to change life and take care of the property, just both, I just like thought about it for a few days and I said, “Okay. Let’s go.” It was so exciting and interesting and then after I learned everything from scratch and I learned from some school, where I went, as well as from people I work with.

C: So how old are you when your dad purchased the vineyard and you started to take over and run it?

J: I was like 30? 29?

C: Okay. So before that, what was your career in Paris like?

J: I did a joint venture. We were a German company. It’s going to sound a little boring. Well, that’s actually my life before. A joint company that was, it’s difficult to understand, that was developing extraction system to reduce pollution in heavy industries. It could be extraction of fume, example from welding. It could be extraction from mill chips, wood chips, plastic chips, or dust from all types of company, heavy industry company where you have welding, where you have drilling, where you have cuttings, where you have like all those type of manufacturing. For example, one of my exciting project is at Air Bruce, where they build their planes and they were like assembling the shell of the plane by mini-parts and they were drilling and bringing together screws. And while drilling, there was a lot of oil and aluminum chips. I was building like a whole big system to extract from the drilling device all the chip and oil so there will be no any of those dangerous environment and pollution in the workspace. And on top of that, I value the waste because we could reuse all those aluminum dust and chip. That was kind of like the business I was doing and to tell you before, being in a wine industry I could explain what I was doing to people, nobody would understand and now I don’t have to even explain what I’m doing, everybody knows and are interested to what I’m doing in the wine industry and the vineyard.

C: It’s funny. I feel like wine is an easy talking point. It’s an easy way to start a conversation with anybody.

J: Wine is so magical because there’s so much things in a bottle of wine. Whatever its history, its values, its culture. There’s so many things to say about a bottle of wine. That’s what makes wine so magical.

C: So I’m curious do you think that your previous career in Paris, what you’re doing from the engineering standpoint, solving problems and creating systems, but also the environmental side of reducing waste and fumes and all that stuff, do you think both of those together really helped you to build this estate? Because I don’t think, a lot of people don’t know the story behind it but you can tell it better than I can. But you converted it to organics and really grew the production so, what’s kind of the story behind how you took over?

J: There’s really no relationship between my previous job and when I was in the industry. The fact that being in the wine industry doesn’t really put me in the desire of having an organic winery. The fact is when we took over the winery, it was not organic and there were no questions for us not go into organic because my dad has always been into organic philosophy. I remember, we had, many years ago, in the 90’s, organic was not such a marketing thing. Early 90’s he was like buying all his organic stuff like organic cereals, organic almond milk, organic whatever you could buy. He was going to a little store, just a few stores that look like nothing. He was always telling me, “You know what, every time I go to this to get my organic stuff, I feel like I’m punished because packaging are like boring. The people going there look like strange.” It was not a trend at that time. Now it became a trend but I’ve always been dedicated to this philosophy, my dad buying all those organic stuff. My dad is from a farmer family. My grandfather was a farmer and he always had this value of what you put into your body is important. What you eat, reflects to your body, like if you eat badly, it shows in your body. My dad is very healthy. He really takes care of everything he eats and sometimes a little too much because he has this philosophy. And so, when we took over the vineyard, it was obvious. There was no question, we have to be organic. So from day 1, we started to turn the vineyard to organic and a year after, into bio-dynamic. It was natural transition.

C: Love that. What, along with, because turning a vineyard from conventional to organic and then to bio-dynamic is a process and it’s a challenge. But what were some of the challenges that you had with getting this estate up and running?

J: It is a challenge. It is a challenge to convert to organic because the loss of the crop that you have especially in the first years. Especially in Burgundy, the weather, the climate is very challenging for organic. The other challenge was, you know you’re in Burgundy, is proving to be one of the most farmer philosophy vineyard region in France. In Bordeaux, where owners are more anchors, entrance companies, big entrepreneurs and they own those chateau but they have less farmer-peasant philosophy. That’s why my dad went to Burgundy and not somewhere else because it was more representing his way of life and his values. But the challenge is because it’s a farmer environment, people are more difficult to work integrate people out of their village and so it’s very close. But when you kind of show that’s a challenge, you hear not just to make money or to show off we have a vineyard but you hear with values, we have earth values, working values, and human values, then, they start accepting you. And it takes time and you never part from them even after 30 years. I had challenges like other winery owners but I’ve always been very, very humble and show them that I’m here to really do a beautiful work that would add more value to Burgundy and that I’m not working for myself but I’m working for the prestige of the whole region, which is Burgundy. I learned a lot from everybody. I love spending time with my neighbors, listening to them and getting experience from them. It’s a fantastic adventure but it takes time to get there. I remember one day, I was meeting somebody that is from the same village and she telling a story that her family was not from Burgundy. She moved to a family house and she saw the gardener and she starts talking to him and he had this strong Burgundy accent, So there’s two village next to each other, so where my vineyard is Auxey-Duresses next to my village is Meursault. And she talks to the gardener and said, “So, you’re from here?” And the guy said, “Oh no, no, no, no. Not from here. I’m from Meursault.”, which is like the next village but you know the difference between two village is like two different countries. So, they are very preservative of their values even at that certain small village. So there is like a strong property of their value and they’re very proud of it and very protective of that and you have to show that your true job of being here to get lots of respect to be accepted.

C: That’s definitely, compared to the U.S., where that patriotism really shows through in Europe and I guess more the Eastern Europe and what-not, that sort of patriotism from where you’re from and, not only the village, but the street that you were born on, the vineyard that your family’s been tending for the last 200 years or something, I feel that that doesn’t really exist in the U.S. as much so it’s hard to relate but when you are speaking with somebody, like that gardener, and they say, “I’m from the next village over.”, which is literally a mile on the road, to them it’s very different. Where in the U.S. I’m like, “I’m from L.A.”, but really you’re from Beverly Hills, but you say you’re from L.A. It’s a very different mindset.

J: The other thing that you need to understand that Burgundy has like over 1500 years of story of life. When you talk about the United States, you know it doesn’t go so far but the weight of oldest heritage that brings tradition, that brings philosophy, values and things like that is so heavy. We have all this story that you have to understand and that you don’t have in the United States.

C: Absolutely. So, when you’re at the estate, working day-to-day, hands-on for nine year, right?

J: Yes.

C: So, when you left there, what was your production capacity?

J: For now, there is no sense to tell the capacity because for the past five years we’ve been very unlucky with the weather but let’s say if it was like a normal good year, like 2005 and 2009 in terms of volumes, we should be able to produce about 75000 bottles and we have 16 hectares. In the past years, our average production is maybe 25000 bottles, so a third of it, average for the past five years because of the hail. We’ve been hit by the hail in 2012, 2013, 2014. 2015 was a peaceful season in terms of the weather but the vine was so traumatized by three years of being hit by hail that the vines didn’t produce a lot, I mean barely, so it was a very small crop. And last year 2016, was the worst year ever since so many years, for me, it was the worst year ever but I don’t have a big story but the other people never saw that in the past. They don’t remember seeing that in their winemaking life. Because of the frost and then after a lot of humidity, rain brought a lot of problems, especially the mildew, that really reduced the crop to almost nothing. So, the frost in April burned so much and then after the fungus that we had during summer. So we don’t have a big crop now. We are very low in stocks and that’s a big problem. I don’t want to even talk about the expectations for 2017 because…

C: You just don’t know.

J: Yeah! That’s what makes people forced to be humbled because you work with somebody that doesn’t care about you at all.

C: And I feel like a lot of, even people who are in the wine industry, whether they are wine shop owners or sommes or whatever their role is, it’s easy to forget that aspect when you’re not actually working in a vineyard day-to-day, or even at a winery day-to-day, that one frost, one night and majority of your crop could be gone for the year. And that’s your inventory for the next vintage and that could affect Burgundy in the next three, four, five years.

J: Yes it is hard to work and become a vineyard owner to understand what’s inside a bottle. Not like what wine but what it represents. It represents like two years of life. Making a wine is not an easy thing and it’s not, in another business, like painting a house for example, where you change a little thing in the printer to see if you can improve the thing and you see the result right away. If you want to improve vines, what you do to improve today, you see the result way after. So you have to be very humble and very passionate and so in a bottle, you have at least two years of your life which is like a year for the brewing season and at least after a year of aging the wine, then after you bottle, so there’s like two years of life. A lot happens in two years, personal life and professional life. It has a lot of stories and in a wine you have problems, happiness, challenges, and things like that. So since I started working in the wine industry, I started to understand that you have to respect the product you have in front of you because it is not only a drink, it is history, it is somebody’s life. It’s somebody’s passion. I’m talking about a fine winemaker not like production wines. I’m talking about who I represent in my winery but what I also represent in my wine store having only organic wines or bio-dynamic natural wines from small producers that own their vines with small crops like artists, people who are doing some kind of art by making the wine. It’s like taking a raw thing that the nature is giving you and putting your passion, your value to create something that would promote happiness questioning passion, sensation like any other art. So, yes, since I started being in the wine industry, I totally see the different wine aspect. 

C: I love that. You kind of mentioned in there wine is art in itself which you have a unique story or I guess the estate has a unique story and some of the labels that you have designed were used for the bottles, the art on them were by Pablo Picasso’s godson, is that correct?

J: Yeah exactly.

C: So what’s the story behind that?

J: So he was a friend of the family, Baltasar Dürrbach, whose godfather was Picasso when he was young and he evolved into one of Picasso's painting. His father and mother was very good friend with Picasso and some other artists from this era and they were living in Provence, especially in Saint Remy, Provence, which is like a few miles away from where Picasso was buried in Vauvenargues, in the chateau he purchased towards the end of his life. And I had the real opportunity to meet Baltasar Dürrbach, who lives in a wonderful property in Saint Remy, Provence, surrounded by vines that his father planted in the70’s. So he’s in the wine industry as well, one of the most famous Domaine winery in Provence named Trevallon. So one day, I was in Provence and on my way back, I stopped to see the designs with him and I asked him if he would be interested to design some labels for four of our wines that we will call the Artiste Series and he said yes, sure why not, that could be a good idea. And it took about two years to push him, remind him that he said yes. And one day he called me and said, “You should come. I think I did a lot of different drawings.” So I organized a trip down with my ex-wife and we went to have lunch and after lunch he said, “Okay. Let’s go to see the drawings.” And I started seeing the drawings he did and he did 30 different drawings. And he showed me everything and I was so excited. There was one that he started to do it but didn’t finish and he started showing me like, “I do that in this way so I could use two different stones.”, which is artistic. It is a stone that you put into water that colors the water and can actually use a pencil with the colored water to do the drawing. And he started like to do one in front of me and I promise you, my ex-wife is Colombian, and she’s very sexy, very Colombian, and so we had lunch before and I promise you, he started doing an example, showing me how he does it. He said, “I’m going to do one for you.” And he started taking the black pens with the black pencil and drawing one and I promise you, I’m sure he drew my ex-wife on the label. You can see the curve of herself, more like, if you look at the label of the Pinot Noir Nature Wine, that’s the label, because I used the label that was my favorite in front of me. I use this one because I see my ex-wife in this label and it’s kind of like have a double excitement meaning on this label. So I took all the labels and have them with me and I used four of them in four different wines for the Pinot Noir which is the last one he did in front of us, one for the Aix Cote, one for the Rose, one for the Sparkling Rose. The Rose and the Sparkling Rose, we don’t do it anymore but the Aix Cote and the Pinot Noir Naturel. Now we’re doing a Sparkling Aix Cote, which is fantastic and I reused the label of the Sparkling Rose to what we were doing in the beginning.

C: I like that. I think that’s part of why wine is so fascinating because it’s not only the vineyard and the history and the story of what’s inside the bottle but the labels themselves and the people that put them together and everybody that touches it, there are so many other stories that branch out of it and it’s absolutely incredible.

J: I love those creativity in labels that’s the part I think I like as well in the United States, the kind of like creative that’s why you can do a new world, all the world, like Burgundy, it’s kind of difficult because people and customers are expecting the old style label from Burgundy because it represents history and you really cannot represent history with that kind of modern label. But you can be innovative in creating wines that are not like so much connected with the terroir, like the Vougeot de Cotes, or the Sparkling Wine or the Natural Wine but more like innovating type of products. So that’s why I was excited about this artiste series but I love all the other regions like Languedoc-Roussillon who have less attachment to history so they can be more able creative.  And I love creative labels because it’s like you add some art to something that is already art inside which is the wine.

C: I love that. That it’s almost like this, I feel like the label itself is creating, it’s adding the other sense, the other human senses to the wine that wine is missing. Wine has the smell, the sensories, the taste, and the touch of inside of your mouth. Then the label adds the visual aspect even on top of the wine itself and also as a sensory of the paper feels and everything else behind it and it just creates an amazing thing that touches all the senses in the human body and it’s just absolutely incredible.

J: It is a part of the experience and I always put a very important effort into the envelope of the wine which is the bottle, what type of bottle, the color of the bottle, the size of the bottle, the heaviness of the bottle, not too heavy but not too light, the label, obviously, the foil, the capsule, and what you print on the foil, the cork, everything was chosen carefully and as important because like you said, it’s an experience, an expensive experience for the palette and for the nose but it’s also visual experience when you have bottle on the table. You want to see it. You want to touch it. You want to love it. It’s part of the experience, the label, and I don’t like to say that, but I have to admit that label is important for me in choosing a wine and the wine can be really, really good if the label is kind of like a repulsive, it affects your taste that’s because as a pure wine drinker, you should avoid the end drop but I think it’s part of the experience. It’s like women. A woman, she can be so beautiful, but if she doesn’t wear the proper clothes that fit her perfectly, you’re missing something. If she has like the beautiful, I prefer maybe women that dress well but maybe has less beauty, than a woman that really takes care of herself or doesn’t have the right clothes because it’s part of their whole thing. Like choosing the right glass, it can destroy the wine if you choose the wrong glass.

C: Yes absolutely. I feel it’s kind of frowned upon to say that if you select wine by the label, especially if you’re working in the wine industry, there’s something wrong with you or something but it’s part of everything. It’s the entire experience.

J: I’m not saying it’s 50% but it has like maybe, I don’t like to put values, but it’s as important as 5% of the decision but it is a part of the decision.

C: I totally agree. So what’s the story behind the Heritage? How did that get started?

J: After being in Burgundy, I wanted to go into new adventure that would be my own adventure. I wanted to move in a place where I can really exercise my passion in a really nice and beautiful environment. I ended up to be in Los Angeles because Los Angeles has a lot of good points and I like to say that for me, Los Angeles, represent the best of my three worlds in France, which was Paris, city life, active life with business opportunities with lots of things to do that I didn’t have in Burgundy so much being in the countryside and not so many activities like social life, Los Angeles has this thing but also has the part of my life that I had in France, which was in Provence, as I was telling you, I had a house next to Provence when I was spending time a lot of time over there. I loved the weather, the environment, the sun, proximity to the sea and that gives a really amazing living style in Los Angeles. You have this part of Provence. You have the weather, it’s amazing, the ocean, you have the weather, it’s very comfortable. So you have all those things that I loved from Provence. And third, I have as well the proximity of the nature that I had in Burgundy. The thing with Los Angeles, it’s a very spread city but there is nature everywhere. I live in Beverly Hills. Fifteen minutes away from where I live, I can be in the middle of the hills with no sign of civilization. I can do a nice hike without driving an hour to be in the nature. The nature is all around very close. You have vines even in Los Angeles. You have vines in Hollywood, in Bel-Air. You have vines in Malibu which is 40 minutes away. You have vines, a lot of vines, big wine region Santa Barbara which is an hour and a half away. We have like proximity of all this nature that I used to be surrounded in Burgundy. So, that’s why I feel so good because I have like in one place, I have my three loving environments I had in France. So I decided to move to Los Angeles and build my own business and by building this wine store and wine bar in Beverly Hills, very challenging to move to another country, in another culture, another education, another language, another philosophy approach to the business. I mean, everything is different. It doesn’t seem so different when you’re from France but when you’re here and you’re actually active into the business, you realize, that we cannot too alike together but we’re very different so it was very challenging and I’m still here and happy. The business is doing very well and I have lots of project to expand my business so, I think I’m going to be here for another many years.

C: I’ve moved from the US to England. I can’t imagine moving from French-speaking, France, and I’m assuming you didn’t have dual citizenship or you had to get your own VISA but then also, overcoming the language barrier, the business traditions, ethics, and everything else that goes into it. Everything is so different and literally moving to the other side of the country, because it’s one thing to move to like York or the East Coast but you’re moving all the way to the West Coast, obviously, all of that was a challenge. What were some of the main things that you really struggled with in making that transition?

J: It was not easy and it’s still not easy because the strong French into me and with all the package that comes with a French person in the U.S. is like really good things. The good thing is that you realize and you have to move out of France to realize that how France is a door by American. France represents such a good life and a good way of life that French people realize how lucky we are and you have to be outside to understand that the vision people here have of France is magical. And that’s what makes France so attractive and still the first touristic country in the world. That’s maybe the best asset that France has to understand and capitalize. One of the most, the bigger challenge is when you move here and, apart from being from your family, your friends, and your culture, you’re feeling country sick, you’re homesick. When you launch a business, people don’t think like you, especially marketing-wise, it’s very challenging to build a business that is dedicated to American people that do not have the same way of thinking than you. They don’t approach the business that you would approach therefore, you fail. I failed a lot especially at the beginning because I didn’t understand why people don’t get it. As an example, in my opinion, Americans are very focused on one thing so they specialize on one thing. They are focused on one thing and when I opened my business that is at the same time wine store, one where you can buy bottle of wine to go home but also a bar where you can have a glass of wine and hangout in the wine bar, it’s two different business. For French people it’s okay, there’s no problem, we can have a glass of wine, we can buy a bottle of wine to go. But for Americans, I realized that it was kind of a challenge for me to tell them yes to both business, you can buy a bottle of wine to go or you can have a glass of wine here. You can do both. I had so many troubles in the beginning, people come in and say, “So what is it here?”” It’s a wine store and a wine bar.” “So I can buy a bottle of wine?” “Yes you can buy a bottle of wine.” “Okay, buy I cannot drink a glass of wine?” “Yes you see there’s a bar. I have glasses. I can pour you a glass of wine. I have a menu.” “Okay, so I can have a glass of wine but I cannot buy a bottle of wine.” “No, this is a wine store but this is also a wine bar.” “Okay, I see.” And they go away.  They get confused because I don’t know if I understand well but you know here, if you see McDonald’s, it’s only burgers. You have Taco Bell, selling only tacos and after you have the burritos. And you have sushi, it’s only that but not everything together. It’s very, very specialized so when you bring a business that can have like two different business activities, confuses people. That is the bigger challenge like to find the right wording, the right marketing direction to explain to people what you are doing and let them know. When people, for example, if people have in mind that you are wine store, they won’t come to have a glass of wine because in their minds, you’re a wine store, you’re not a wine bar. Even if they see people have a patio on the street, people drinking outside, tables outside, “No, no, no. That’s a wine store.” So that’s very frustrating sometimes because you have to put on the window very explanative wording and signs and it’s kind of destroying the beauty of the place because you have to put big signs and things like that so people can understand.  The other challenging thing is Americans, don’t like to spend too much time on something. You are so solicitating by advertisement, by new places, by new everyday, by email, by publicity on the street, by newspaper, by everything, by radio, by TV. You have so much information so if you’re not straight and short, they lose the attention. That’s a very big challenge as well, getting the attention in a quarter-second, being able to tell them everything you have to offer.

C: I can only imagine trying to, I mean, I studied business at an American university, so I kind of understand these things but when you come in as a foreigner in a city that is, I guess it’s hard to make it in a place like L.A. Everybody tries to make in L.A. or New York or San Francisco. I can only imagine how difficult that must have been. Just how frustrating that could be at times.

J: Very challenging and very frustrating. But the other thing is when you gain the continents of customers, you remain very thankful. And that’s a very pleasant thing and very motivating, it takes time. I’m not like a big group like other chain or whatever that have a big pool for marketing budget to attract clients and people. It takes time, word of mouth is my best marketing tool but it takes a lot.

C: And you kind of mentioned at the beginning, when we first started talking about franchising opportunities and growing and expanding. What are your goals and dreams for Heritage?

J: For this year, my objective is to be in the process of finding another place to grow business and to get clients from other neighborhood. And then after, for the next years, the opportunity of franchise like stores on the name of Heritage. Because now, Heritage built a stronger image, we’ve got a nice good quality image to use to expand.

C: Absolutely. Sounds good. Just a few more questions. What have you been feeling grateful for lately?

J: Grateful? You know, between 2015 and 2016, I doubled my revenue.

C: That’s incredible.

J: And for the two first months of 2017, I doubled the revenue compared to the first two ones of last year, which were really good compared to the year before. So I’m grateful for this opportunity to be still in business and see the growth that I work hard but for something. And being an entrepreneur in the United States is not easy as I would have expected, very challenging, like we said, but also because in Beverly Hills, especially, building a business, it’s very challenging, permits, licenses, all those stuff takes a lot of time, a lot of effort, and a lot of money. But I’m thankful that I’m still here to be able to see the future as an opportunity for my business.

C: That’s absolutely incredible that you’re continuing to grow and expand, rapidly as well. So, where can people connect with you online? Where can they find Heritage and buy Clos du Moulins.

J: So, Clos du Moulins, which is my bio-dynamic winery is in Auxey-Duresses in Burgundy. You can find it on www.moulinauxmoines.com. And for Heritage, it’s in the Golden Triangle of Beverly Hills, in the corner of Canon Drive and Santa Monica Boulevard. The entrance address is actually 467 North Canon Drive, Beverly Hills. And also online, https://www.heritagebeverlyhills.com or on Facebook, Heritage Fine Wines, or Instagram, Heritage Fine Wines.

C: Very cool, very cool. I’ll link all that in the show notes. So the last question is, what is one wine, other than your own, that you’ve been excited about lately?

J: Well, I have a lot of excitement wine but let’s say, not to talk about the particular wine, or maybe I can, wine region, Cotes Catalanes at the border of Spain on the Mediterranean side. Theirs’ is a wonderful, innovative winery that are doing fantastic wines with lot of passion and innovation in terms of not technology, by trying to really do at something, a lot of energy, a lot of soul, and it’s fantastic for them because there’s really a lot of old wines that’s still there in fantastic terroir. For example, there is like this really nice natural wine and bio-dynamic wine producer Olivier Pithon, not very well known unfortunately. It was doing like really, really nice Granache in a very round, velvet, not aggressive at all of wine. I would say like really like a Burgundy elegance that I love drinking. It’s very well-priced for the quality of the wine and that’s a wine with full of energy. When you drink the wine, you feel like something is going in your glass and that’s what I’m looking for wine when you drink. It must give you sensation, questioning, and wonder to drink and share this experience with other people.

C: I love that.

J: In Cotes Catalanes, exactly the village of cals.

C: Actually, I’ve been researching kind of the area and hopefully I’ll meet Tom Lubbe at the Real Wine Fair in London at the beginning of May. He’s producing some amazing things as well from that area.

J: There’s a lot of innovating new people moving from other regions. Louis Vuitton  for example, his  family is pretty well-known in the Valley and he moved to south to probably to find a little more sun and better lifestyle but still doing what he’s good at, which is making wine. There’s another woman that I love, her name is Domaine Hauvette, a wonderful person that is in Provence, not far away from Balthasar Matzbach. She’s doing bio-dynamic wine also with so much character as much as her and she is a difficult woman. She is by herself. She loves horses. Her passion is making wine and she has wonderful different wines that she cherishes and she does with so much energy and passion and that’s a very respectful person that you see into the wine. She’s like a, she’s wonderful. She purchased some vines in the Pyrenees, where she brings her horses during summer and she does wine over there as well.