Who are you?

A wine buff, I’ve dedicated my life to it. First as an employee for wine companies, then I decided to give 100% of my time to wines I like, to a way of life I want to share.

In concrete terms, I started working in wine in 2007. I was looking for a student job, a friend pointed me to Le Repaire de Bacchus. He said “This is for you! Go see Paolo Bouca Nova and tell him I sent you”. I went to the wine shop on Rue Montorgueil, I found a mentor who became a friend, a love story with wine had begun. Before crossing the threshold of this wine shop, I didn’t know anything about wine. After six months of work, I knew wine would become my life. I went through different jobs around wine; grape picker, waiter, wine merchant, exports manager, wine bar manager (in New Zealand!), agent, trader… Today, I focus on what is most important to me: wines with a priority given to RESPECT.

In 2015 I created COQ AU VIN, an agency for wines made from organic and biodynamic agriculture, where my work focuses on ten key estates providing particular care to Mother Earth. Thanks to this reduced number of estates, I know the vineyards and the wines by heart, I share the winemakers’ passion, I follow their work closely and play a direct role.

Since with ten estates you cannot earn a proper living (and my head was brimming with ideas), I decided to create my own wines with the intention of creating a bridge between the worlds of wine. It was from this idea that the Caaaaaaat collection was born, a collection of independent wines co-produced with talented winemakers. The priority has always been “respect” for the fauna, flora, and human, any type of life, with total freedom of tone, container and content.

What types of wines are produced in the Caaaaaaat collection?

Freedom and Respect are the key words. We work on making wines as simply as possible; with fermented grape juice, organic, biodynamic wines, certified or not, with no added sulphur. And as “simplicity is the ultimate sophistication” (it wasn’t Caaaaaaat who said that, it was Leonardo da Vinci!), it requires a lot of care, time and the human touch. It’s a balancing act. In other words: making natural wine is painting a Rembrandt.

Why cats in space?

First of all, because supernovas are exceptional interstellar explosions. They release gas and dust heated to thousands of degrees, and therefore create amazing colours. Blue and green colours come from the emission of X-rays from the gas heated at thousands of degrees after deflagrations created by the explosion of the supernova. The red represents the boiling dust and the yellow comes from young stars, both detectable via infrared.

Secondly, cats are special. It makes us wonder: are they extra-terrestrials propelled from the edges of the galaxy from the explosion of the Kitty Caaaaaaat supernova?

Are you not afraid of unsettling the consumer, particularly in France?

As an entrepreneur, fear is baggage I prefer to not carry with me! Wine is a traditional sector where we don’t take enough risks. I took the gamble to go to an audience who is open-minded and would be stunned by the quality of the wines. Blind tasted, the Caaaaaaats knocked out the prejudices and snobbery. I’m delighted if our approach unsettles people and opens up a discussion, a debate, we love that in France!

Who is your target audience?

Haha! If I wasn’t a man lost in business, I would have a pre-planned answer… and I don’t have one! I want to maintain freedom regarding our productions, a target audience would change that. Creating a bridge between the worlds of wine compels us to not restrict ourselves to a specific audience. Seeing our wines being drunk by everyone (of legal drinking age), regardless of who they are, makes us happy.

What do you want to say through your concept?

If, with the Caaaaaaat collection, I can bring sensory pleasure and some fun, it’s a success! Like with Karate Caaaaaaat, which is a pure juice, a superb natural gastronomic wine.

Let’s go deeper. In this literal world, where ideas and individuals are stigmatised, you have to not take yourself seriously. We are rigorous, uncompromising in our work and it is precisely because I work with excellent, talented winemakers, that I can be side-lined. I’m comfortable with that. The wines we offer are made with extreme care (a lot more than certain “prestigious” wines).

Life is short and we are just dust, so let’s not waste time taking ourselves seriously.

How do you see the next three years?

In terms of production, the Caaaaaaat collection will offer nine wines, like a cat’s nine lives! There will be three whites, three rosés and three reds (passionate about numerology, I get you). I’ll continue to step off the beaten track with our co-productions, bringing artists into our projects, always going further in our environmental commitment by reducing bottle-weight as much as we can, making them refillable where possible, obviously maintaining our 100% Made in France approach, and of course bringing out underestimated French vineyards like with Cosmic Caaaaaaat Rosé Indigène or simply bringing another point of view to established areas like with Atomic Caaaaaaat… in short: they are going to be plentiful!

On a personal level: keep learning. Wine is an infinite world where we never stop learning, and this is even more true in the era of extremely rapid climate change. Expertise in wine is a label, placed by courtiers on their Pygmalions. The subject is vast and historical. Who can claim to know perfectly well 8000 years of working vines and making wine? This is all the beauty, the extraordinariness of wine, which I will continue to nourish my body and soul fir the next three years and my entire life.

What’s your favourite Caaaaaaat?

I like them all! I don’t want to offer a wine which I don’t enjoy from an organoleptic point of view. So no unconfessed favourite, but there will be a new wine soon: a skin-contact wine coming from a great plot of Domaine Entras. This Caaaaaaat has all everything a great wine has: it’s an orange wine, a skin-contact wine which required painstaking, manual, precise work. It’s a natural wine, matured with the greatest care (vat, barrels and clay amphora). It has a wonderful colour, it’s a wine to be enjoyed on every gourmet table! To do all this, we carried out another balancing act…

One sentence to sum up your connection to the world of wine

Day to day, I’m crazy about wine, a geek, a nerd, an enthusiast.

Professionally: if wine were a symphony, the land would be the score, the winemaker the musician, and I’m finding my place in the orchestra.

Final thoughts about the future?

Yes! I’m working on a project to plant vines, probably resistant grape varieties, also called “hybrids”, in Britany. This project will coexist with the Caaaaaaat collection which I enjoy so much. Cheers to good wine!