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Globetrotting for Grapes: Caroline Maurin’s journey in curating Adegas & Terroirs


Read all about Wine Tourism, analyzing consumer behaviors, the world of online and offline wine shopping, and wine forward collaborations

Photo for: Globetrotting for Grapes: Caroline Maurin’s journey in curating Adegas & Terroirs

Could you please introduce yourself to the audience, and describe your journey so far? 

My name is Caroline Maurin, half French, half Brazilian, and wine is my passion! During my master's degree in Paris in 2013, I decided to change everything in my career. At this point, I was working in a small Wine Shop for a Burgundy and Bordeaux lover. He gave me all the steps for a perfect wine tasting, showed me how to do a blind taste, and told me: "The day you understand about wine, I'll take the bottle sock off so you can see that you have identified all the characteristics of the wine". Several weeks later, the bottle sock was off! At this right moment, something was revealed to me: I wanted to work in the wine field but didn't know how. So, I decided to change everything in my life. 

I returned to Brazil and started my first studies in the wine field in Sommelier International at the University of Caxias do Sul in the Gastronomy area. Then, one year later I returned to France to pursue my studies in the Wine and Spirits Business in the Val de Loire. Then, during these last 10 years, I developed my career in the wine industry, passing through the vines as a sommelier in wine tourism, serving beautiful bottles in Alain Ducasse restaurant in the Hotel de Paris in Monaco, and since 2020, having my own wine shop, Adegas & Terroirs, in Vence. 

Photo: in Omer par Alain Ducasse – Hotel de Paris Monaco 2019 as a sommelier

What kind of services does Adegas provide, and which of those roles is at the core of Adegas? 

Adegas is, in Portuguese from Brazil, a specific place under the ground of a house used to conserve wine. Terroirs is the French word for designing the characteristics of an agricultural product. Adegas & Terroirs is a place where wines, spirits, and spices are chosen by their history, organoleptic quality, perfect balance, and the savoir-faire of the producer. Every bottle that has a place on our shelves tells us an amazing story. Small producers have an advantage working with us: we put them under the light in our tasting ateliers. It allows Adegas clients to travel around vineyards without leaving our shop. To exchange personal sensations that the wine can provoke. Tell a unique history in their olfactive memoir that they find in the wine. And learn about the making process of wine and spirits from all over the world. 

In our shop, we accompany our clients in selecting wine for their events: birthday parties, happy hour with colleagues, and weddings…. They can also privatize our shop for a specific event and choose a theme around the wine world so we can do an animation. We organize tasting sections in our Wines from the World room. We organize events for our clients under demand. We deliver and do private tasting outside our shop under clients demand.

Photo : Adegas & Terroirs – 40 AV MARCELLIN MAUREL 06140 VENCE 3 

Adegas & Terroirs is also a website ready to deliver wines and their history around France and Europe. 

Photo : Adegas et Terroirs

Adegas Wine is our professional agency: we propose wine and spirits for restaurants, cafés, and other wineshops. We also assist bartenders and waiters with the service of the wine and the creation of their wine list. We help small restaurants and brasseries in the way to select wines for the season and how to serve wine, and tell clients the history of it. We work with private jets, yachts, and event agencies. 

How do you source your wines and spirits? What criteria do the products need to have to make it to your store? 

I participate in all wine/spirits fairs (exclusive for professionals or not), online or in my presence; I read almost all wine/spirits magazines and books in 5 languages that I speak to be aware of the news. I accept all the tastings that professionals call me to do; I learn about the producers that are in front of me during the taste. I listen to what they tell me and try to understand what they want to give in their product. The same goes for spirits. Organic production or not, the history behind the bottle is important to me. I sell story! Also, I taste with other professional colleagues from the field as sommeliers and wine merchants. I also participate in wine competitions to taste with people who love wine but don't work in the wine field; that allows me to understand consumer expectations. 

To have a place in my shop, it's the rule of three: a beautiful history, a good product perfectly well balanced and not present in supermarkets or too many wine shops. The idea is to propose singular wines and spirits for a specific type of client. For that, I'm continuously improving my studies to remember the bases: I'm now preparing for the WSET level 3 and intend to follow for the Certified Wine Educator. 

Photo : Sommelier International Graduation 2014

What is the procedure an audience goes through during your tastings? 

Today, we propose several types of tastings: 

Tasting sections by theme (around a region, a grape variety, a country, etc.…) – The client doesn't need to have a base; they learn the base of tasting during the atelier. 

Tasting sections by level – you can't do level 2 if you do not have level 1. Each level is a continuity of the predecessor. 

A big part of our tastings is blind tasting; the idea is to link the personal experience to the wine experience of each person in the room. It allows people to connect with the world of wine and open their minds and palates to the new without judgment. 

What are some buying patterns you notice in your online and offline stores?

Online, my clients search for a reasonable price and no transport fee. Usually, they extensively search all wine websites to see what they offer and prices. Cost is significant, so we stay competitive in price without imposing on our clients to buy large quantities. 

Offline clients seek for advice; it's a way to connect and have a VIP treatment. They are ready to pay the price because they need to have confidence in the seller. Once the confidence is established, the client is loyal because they know that we can find the wine they want no matter how. For both stores, we propose free delivery and a personal experience. 

What is your marketing strategy? What type of customers are you approaching and how? 

We are constantly developing our client list. We deliver all over France and a few countries in Europe. Our marketing strategy is large – by mailing, by WhatsApp, and by social network. We also have a blog and always try to tell curiosities about the wine world. 

At this moment, we're working on a new project that consists of developing our own bottle bags to avoid packaging waste. 

Photo : Caroline Maurin – Vines from Bourgogne Château de Pommard 2019 during my work as a on trade sales

Are you open to collaborations? Share some examples. 

We are always open to collaborating. We will collaborate for the second year with de Syndicate of Champagne Producers in October. We'll put in evidence small champagne producers in our shop and propose tasting to our clients. We have another collaboration with Caviar Gresha to develop caviar sales for our clients. Also, we collaborate with other companies outside the wine field but search to work on their palate to taste and do business. We have several projects with small restaurants to help them prove their know-how in food and wine pairing and create their wine list and how to present it to clients. We collaborate with Bottl in their research for the wine field to measure and understand client behavior. We also work on the creation of a wine cellar. 

What is next on your career bucket list? 

We’re working to open a subsidiary of our company in the United States and developing our services in wine tourism and courses. 

Photo : Caroline Maurin during harvesting season in Touraine

Since you travel a lot, what are some of the best wine regions you've been to, and what was the wine tourism like? 

Each region is so beautiful that I can't choose just one. The Loire Valley has a green landscape that changes during the year, but nothing compares to the color palette from different regions of the Languedoc during fall or even the up and down from de Douro Valley; it is just sumptuous!! People are from the land, and each cultural exchange is emotional. It's almost like being home. I learn a lot when I travel around wine world. Taste to local grapes and understand why vines develop this way it’s a chance.

Photo : Vines during winter – Limoux 2018

Written and interviewed by Stuti Khetan, Beverage Trade Network

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