In 2015, a popular winery in the area was in a spot of bother and in need of a helping hand. Denis took up the job of winemaker and turned their old school French winery into a modern business and is already producing some spectacular wines.
For what he has achieved, he is a very humble man who likes nothing better than a delicious meal with his family and covering some serious distance on his bike. His dream is simply to make fruity, juicy, easy-drinking wines that everyone can enjoy and he is so happy to share them with Angels.
He was never going to be kept a secret for long and the big dogs of the industry are already cosying up to him with pleading puppy eyes. Trust us, this is just the beginning for Denis and we couldn’t be more excited!
Meet Jean Marc Astruc... a respected grape grower with 30 years' experience, and Katie Jones' husband and pillar of strength. He's so respected, he was made President of his local co-operative in 1998.
As President of the co-op, Jean Marc believed in innovation, and investment in quality, not quantity. But when the recession hit, his strategy was severely tested. After a couple of tough years and price pressure from the supermarkets, the growers had enough and kicked him out in 2011.
Jean Marc is now free to make delicious wines from his own vines - a dream he's held for 30 years... and it's all thanks to you!!
Katie’s love of wine led her all the way from Leicestershire to the Languedoc where she bought a an idyllic vineyard perched half-way up a hill in Tuchan. In 2013 she experienced every winemaker’s worst nightmare when vandals emptied her entire year’s vintage down the drain.
She turned to us. And 2,500 Angels helped to get her back on her feet - clubbing together to raise over £200k in just 48 hours. Our Queen of the Languedoc was able to start again and gone on to make some seriously delicious wines, with sparkly awards a plenty.
Thanks to her beloved Angels, Katie has been able to nab more hilltop vineyards, expand her range and even move her winemaking operation into an old railway station to fit in more barrels. It’s a long way from the 600 cases of wine she made in her garage in 2009!
Virgile Joly is almost annoyingly perfect. He's ultra organic, with the certificates to prove it. Dashingly good looking, with a beautiful wife (who fell in love with him after one harvest). Stupidly talented with wine, he has glowing reviews from the doyenne of wine writing, Jancis Robinson.
Plus he's not afraid of hard work. He bottled his first vintage himself. 3,000 bottles, Virgile and a funnel. Now that's dedication!
10 years later, he's producing some of the Languedoc's most sought after wines and we're using Angel funding to help him expand his winery and go on to even greater things. Plus his surname brings a smile to our face every time we see it - what's not to like!
When Ben left a safe winemaking job in Australia to move back to France with his young family in the noughties, at first he really struggled. The financial crash of 2007/08 clobbered the winery he was working at, so they had to let him go. He couldn’t catch a break.
That was until Angels freed Ben from the corporate fat cats and transformed his livelihood. Thanks to Angel investment, Ben was finally able to set up on his own and realise his lifelong dream of putting his own name on the label. Even better, he had an advance on his next vintage!
With the backing of Angel funding, Ben has been able to invest more, source even better fruit and establish strong relationships with local growers to improve the quality of his delicious wines year-on-year. With thousands of rave reviews, he’s a bonafide Naked icon.