Hervé Bizeul, Roussillon’s icebreaker oenologist

Hervé Bizeul, in 2016.

As a model of disruption, Hervé Bizeul stands out as a textbook case. Always dressed in black, like a shepherd, with precise words, an almost monotonous tone, he became a viticulturist when nothing predestined him to do so, and he revealed himself in a wine-growing region that we thought was dying. In Roussillon, he traces his furrow. Half Breton on his father’s side, half Catalan on his mother’s side, Hervé Bizeul has never stopped inventing paths beyond convention to become, at 62, a man with a reputation as both a troublemaker and a visionary winemaker.

When he moved to the Vingrau limestone cirque, where he bought a house in the center of town in 1997, he already had several lives behind him. He first pursued a career as a sommelier, during which he won the Ruinart Trophy for best young sommelier in France in 1981, then the creation of a wine bar in Paris which he ran for five years. He also writes as a journalist for various wine magazines, creating a strong network. He was even a collaborator with Jean-Pierre Coffe (who taught him how to address the public) and wrote an original book on the vegetable mill.

Wines at all prices

When this tireless vineyard surveyor decided at the age of 40 to create his estate, Le Clos des Fées, Hervé Bizeul was no longer a novice. He is a man who knows how to talk to his clients, mixes literature with oenology, writes with style and regulates his moods. on a popular blog. “A good winemaker is a good salespersonexplains the businessman. I am very attentive to the winery tradition that consists of receiving at the farm and answering all mail ».

“The success of a vineyard remains mysterious, chaotic, fractal, atomized. The rules of wine are unique, very different from those of music or a book. »Hervé Bizeul

From the first vintage, it was an immediate success. You’re right: a smooth wine, a well placed price, new marketing. It expresses the diversity of Roussillon, creating vintages almost every year with unexpected labels, from original blends and poetic names, such as “The Beat That Skipped My Heart”, “Love, dream, pray, shut up”, “Little Siberia”Where “A faun with his fife under the olive trees”. He also knows how to join forces with neighboring winegrowers to produce a community wine (Walden) at a price affordable to big box retailers. In a wine region less economically simple than elsewhere, Hervé Bizeul takes on the task of producing popular wines on the one hand and elite wines on the other. His price range is between 5 and 360 euros per bottle, something extremely rare in the wine sector.

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