Meet the Next Generation of France’s Wine Pros

A fresh crop of French wine lovers are turning the idea the stodgy sommelier on its head, according to one Reuters report. The players themselves, though, could not be more diverse.

First, there’s the 25-year-old sommelier of a Michelin starred restaurant Baptiste Ross-Bonneau who says “The cliché of the old, tubby sommelier is gone.” Then there are Benoit Perrot and Matthieu and Antoine Mondesert of Demain le Vins, a vineyard and startup operation in Beaujolais. Each year the pair promotes one fledgling vineyard with fundraising efforts, like rare wine auctions, to the international market. This year’s lucky winner is Antoine Sunier, a 34-year-old who recently entered the field after 15 years in mobile phone sales. 

No longer yielding to tradition, France’s youthful enthusiasts are changing the country’s idea of what “wine professional” means while bringing sustainable, collaborative winemaking into the 21st century—most definitely for the better. [Reuters] [Photo: Flickr/Pedro Ribeiro Simões]