Charming French winemaker Gérard Bertrand recently hosted a wine pairing dinner at Joe’s Stone Crab, promoting several of his varietals, including the effervescent Code Rouge. Bertrand’s impressive wine footprint stretches across the South of France, with an emphasis on biodynamic farming. The former rugby player is the perfect ambassador for his 20-plus-year brand and, for one evening, he brought a taste of the South of France to Miami.
What attracts you to the Miami market?
I love Miami because I think it’s one of the most exciting cities in the world. I love the lifestyle of Miami. For us, it’s very important to share the lifestyle of Saint Tropez with our guests at the best restaurants, nightclubs and lounges. Miami is an attitude. It’s cool, relaxed, and people like to have fun. They like to make parties. They also like to make food and wine pairings. Our portfolio of wine answers all of these needs because we have sparkling wine, organic whites, red blends, and rosé, of course.
Why did you choose Joe’s Stone Crab for your wine dinner?
Joe’s Stone Crab was the first restaurant we entered in Miami seven years ago. Plus, I think our rosé pairs very well with the stone crabs. The color of the rosé and the color of the crabs matches very well together. And the taste is good with the crab and the cocktail sauce.
How does Miami remind you of the South of France?
Saint Tropez is a small village that becomes big. Miami is a big city. You can’t compare both. For me, the attitude of Miami Beach is Collins Avenue. When you walk on Collins Avenue, it’s a very long avenue with the best hotels and fashionable people.
Where can we buy your wines in Miami?
We are at Joe’s Stone Crab, the Delano, Surfcomber, Faena, Fontainebleau, and Juvia. We are also located across the country, in all of the states.
Why are you so committed to biodynamic farming?
Organic and biodynamic farming is not a trend for me. It’s a priority and commitment for 15 years now. We are the leader in the world for organic and biodynamic farming. We want to leave a better planet for our children. We want to save the planet and fight against global warming. Plus, this type of farming is better for the quality of the wine. With biodynamic farming, you have more freshness, more minerality, and better acidity and vibrancy. The potential for the aging of the wine is better, too.
What’s the difference between organic and biodynamic farming?
Organic farming is a technique. Biodynamic farming is a philosophy. For biodynamic farming, we only use the lunar calendar and the planetary calendar. We care about the connection between the planets and earth. We spray homeopathic recipes on special days, especially on fruit days and flower days. We follow the principles of Rudolf Steiner, who created the biodynamic way in 1924. All of our Estate wines are biodynamic. We have more than 1,000 acres converted to the biodynamic agriculture, and we are number one by far. The DNA of the company is excellence of quality, organic and biodynamic farming, and to deliver the lifestyle of the South of France. When you drink a glass of wine, it’s to have fun and talk with people and enjoy life. When you start to drink, you stop to fight.
You have been involved in the winemaking process since the age of 10. What an amazing journey.
I have written a book to explain my history in the winemaking industry called Wine, Moon and Stars. I spent 18 months writing the book to explain my philosophy and commitment to the South of France. We have great expertise in winemaking. Plus, we love food and wine pairings. We want to deliver the character of the terroir. It’s more important than style. Style is just the beginning. In my book, I explain the “Pyramid of Sense.” The pleasure is the minimum you need to provide to your consumers. The pleasure is the eyes, nose, and mouth. After that, you have the taste. The taste is the throat. You move from the mouth to the throat. After that, you have the emotion. You move from the throat to the heart. It’s a spirit communion when you feel this emotion. When you discover that, you can thank God because this is something unique. On top of that, you have the message. The message is the brain. The message comes directly from God. It’s like Sting’s song, “Message In A Bottle.” With the Clos D’Ora wine, it’s a meditation wine. It’s a wine that delivers a message of peace, love, and harmony. I created this wine and winery with these feelings. It’s very important to me.
By Jacquelynn Powers Maurice | Contributing Writer