It’s always heartwarming when someone I’ve never met contacts me from miles away because they’ve been reading what I write. Just recently someone with whom I share a great passion, asked me to write about what he does. The passion we share is a love of somewhere beautiful, the story of which has seeped deep into my soul. That place is of course Provence, where this person spends his time immersed in the terroir, with the vines and the vintners. Just chatting to him I could smell the warmth of the soil and the musty aroma of grapes working their magic inside aged oak barrels. I thought of balmy, summers days in Provence, where bustling street cafés and restaurants spill onto the cobbles, where it is impossible not to become beguiled by the heady atmosphere of carefree relaxation, too seductive to ignore and I was transported.
I saw myself sitting amidst tightly packed, colourful tables, bursting with good food and wine under the shaded branches of gently swaying plane trees to be staring into the dark eyes of a waiter and ordering what everyone else was sipping, a glass of rosé. Provencal rosé, deliciously crisp and refreshing, a subtle, pale pink shimmer in your glass, produced, from a small, exclusive nearby winery just along the road.
As I dreamily thought about its taste, which so effortlessly encapsulates the essence of Provence, I thought about the conversation I had just had and how soon I might be able to buy this sensuous piece of Provence, from that same boutique vintner here, where I live, 5000 miles away in California.
That conversation was with a forward thinking wine connoisseur, Damien Dubus, who along with a love for Provence, one of the oldest wine growing areas in the world, has a passion for the exceptional wines produced there. As a discoverer of talented winemakers, his ambition is to share his extensive expertise of Provence’s wines, especially its rosé; and to make available high quality vintages from small-scale, often unknown boutique producers, previously unavailable outside of Provence.
Although produced elsewhere, rosé is particularly synonymous with Provence, accounting for over 85 percent of its total production, the export of which outpaces any other area, and it’s a thirst that’s rapidly growing, especially in the US. Having lived and worked in the US, Damien understands this demand. Through the company he established in 2012, VinAzur, based in the beautiful Cote D’Azur city of Nice, he is fast becoming the online sommelier of Provence offering wines direct from the producer sold at the same price as the producer! Personally selecting each domain and working exclusively and very closely with each one, Damien has successfully established strong, well-respected partnerships with the winemakers and is therefore able to offer an unrivaled price/quality ratio to his own clientele.
Already shipping within Europe Damien is currently working on establishing distribution networks in the US. He is seeking an American partner interested in helping make his vision a reality; that as a couple raise their final glass of the day from their bougainvillea covered terrace in Provence, their American cousins will be experiencing the same mouthwatering indulgence to accompany their lunch thousands of miles away.
That the same special glass of exclusive Provencal rosé, lovingly cultivated and produced from a petit, boutique château, within the limestone walls of a centuries old domain in Provence, will be available not just to those who live by the neighbouring olive grove but by fellow lovers of wine across the globe.
For those of you reading in Europe go to the VinAzur website and enter the code CAROLINE for a 10% discount on your order!
If you know someone who might be able to help Damien find a US distributor do get in touch!