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No. 35

Radical and on the move

«Wines are like works of art. They are unique because the personality of the person who produces the product flows into them. That is precisely why we are making this magazine. We want to tell you the stories that are present in a wine. Today, let yourself be inspired by the most diverse wine personalities! Freedom-loving individualist, clever fox or peace personified – who will you invite to your table? We hope you enjoy reading this.»

Dominic Blaesi & Renzo Schweri

Founders

Bottle of Réserve de Georges from Maison Ventenac

«I never thought I would become a winemaker.» – Olivier Ramé

A lateral thinker on a steep learning curve

15 years ago, Olivier Ramé's life looked very different. Together with his wife Stéphanie he lived in an apartment in Paris. He was a financial advisor, she was a marketing manager. Of course, the two liked to drink wine, especially as Stéphanie comes from a family of winemakers. But Olivier would never have thought that he would become a winemaker himself. After all, his career as an expert in corporate mergers was going very well – why think about a new start? But then the moments where Olivier had enough of the big city and the financial world piled up. When his father-in-law announced one day that he would sell his winery, a jolt went through the young Frenchman. He decided to take a completely new path. He quit his job and trained as a winemaker. However, it soon became clear that as a wine maker he did not want to follow the beaten path. So he travelled around the world for two years and visited 200 wine regions. «I wanted to gain as many experiences as possible around the topic of wine, see how it is done elsewhere and find my own style», explains the ambitious beginner. The first years as a winemaker were challenging, because the winery had been run very conventionally until then and had not bottled its wines itself but sold them to middle-men. A lot of work and a complete rethink were needed to make Maison Ventenac the innovative organic wine estate it is today. But in his free time Olivier also proves that he has no problem with taking the path less travelled. With his Gravel Bike he explores the southern French landscape as he pleases. Never getting lost but always taking the challenging route!

Bottle of La Muse from Maison Ventenac

Olivier Ramé wants to change your views on wine

«It's about getting the wine off the pedestal», Olivier Ramé says with a rebellious undertone, «we should bring it back to where it really belongs - into our throats.» In the end, it is not important what is on the label. The taste buds are only interested in the good taste of the wine. «Appellation? Château? I don't care! A rather radical view. Especially for a Frenchman and even more for a winegrower, who tend to be pretty traditional in their views. He became a «dissident» during his two-year journey through the wine regions of the world: «I make wines that I like, not wines that others expect from me.» For example, he produces pure wines such as «La Muse», which contradicts the rules of the AOP Cabardès. When he came to the south of France and asked a lot of questions, he was soon considered «un peu fou», a bit crazy. Olivier is simply a person who dares to go his own way. Even where most people see only a dead end. In 2013, the winemaker lost his left hand ring finger while working with a machine. Nevertheless, a few years later he started taking guitar lessons. And see: It's also possible with one finger less! You just have to want it. Olivier is convinced that every human being has a «dissident side». We find them where we are fully committed to «our own thing», where we do not compromise. The «dissident side» is the breeding ground for growing beyond oneself. Olivier Ramé is doing it. With his extraordinary life story and with his radically good wines.

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