Entrepreneur finds ‘Le Petit Eden’ with his organic French wine
The one exception, Eden runs the entire enterprise himself, from converting old vines into organic ones in Baixas and Calce, (his neighbour is Gérard Gauby known for following biodynamic principals using natural yeasts, no chaptalization, acidification, fining or filtration. Eden follows the same principles); to pruning, bottling, labelling and marketing the products.
Eden is already making a name for himself, having started his business in 2015 and now has a number of brands to his name including; Red Magic (Syrah); Com els vells temps (Grenache Syrah, Carignan); La Diversio; Le Master Plan (Muscat Petit Grain); L’Ordonnance (Grenache Noir); La Grande Journee and Mia (named after his daughter); and Sang du Diable.
“I started my business in 2015, created with the help of my family and three years in its been an interesting project. I do everything myself by hand, converting the vines to pruning them and attaching labels,” he said.
“I was using an old press from 1905 for the first two years and now I use one from 1930. The reason for my success is I do everything as it would have been done by our ancestors in years gone-by.
“I’ve managed to put my wine into the best restaurants and cavistes (wine cellars) in Montpellier. I have no formal education and no studies behind it. I’ve done everything based on instinct. I shadowed my brother at the beginning on how to make wine. He started his business in 2010 and I moved to the region in 2012 then two years later I started my own business and bought and converted the vines.
“The rest is history. I’ve had enormous success thanks to my sales network, first by selling my brother’s wine then going on to sell my own wine.”
Eden sells his wine by word of mouth and direct sales and 95% of people who have tried the red, Red Magic, have bought it on-site.
“It’s been a great learning curve. One of my first bottles was ‘La Diversio’, which means ‘fun’ in Catalan and represents the first year of my business, which was more about producing the wine, establishing a brand, experimenting and ‘having fun’. Now its become more than a project and is more serious.”
All Eden’s wines are organic and produced in Baixas and Calce, north of Perpignan and famous for its Catalan terroir.
“The French think I am crazy for doing it by myself and I agree with them. If someone had told me I’d be doing this three years ago I would never have thought it was possible because you have to put in 80 to 100 hours a week,” he said.
“It’s a highly competitive industry and when I walk into a bar or restaurant to offer a tasting it has to be different and better than the rest. They don’t want you to waste their time, but I have found people are proud to be where they are from and they prefer to buy from people they know in the same region.
“It’s nice to be able to put my wine in front of people and get their honest feedback. I learn more about my wine this way because their palettes are more experienced and evolved from the terroir, so when they taste what I have made their opinion means a lot me. From a marketing perspective it’s good to know who to pitch it to.”
Eden’s brother James helped the entrepreneur to find the land where he converts his vines, near Domaine Gauby on the slopes of the Agly valley. The valley does not possess a specific wine appellation. Instead, it relies on the Côtes du Roussillon for red wines or the IGP Côtes Catalanes for whites.
This year, Eden is planning to launch an 'eau-de-vie' drink (similar to brandy) from the waste of grape skins known as ‘Vies d'ordures’. He also wants to start tours and tastings at his cellar.
He currently does not have a website for his brand but he has set up a Facebook page for people to contact him. Or call +33 (0)782 45 51 37.