An afternoon with Gil from J.P Chenet

An afternoon with Gil from J.P Chenet

I must admit up til now i had not been well acquainted with the brand popularly known as J.P Chenet, yet it is one of the leading French wine producer in the world! Clearly i was doing badly but that's in the past now- i'm a certified J.P Chenet enthusiast as we speak!

In case you didn't know, JP. Chenet is unique among French wines. Its instantly recognizable bottle carries quite an interesting story behind it. In 1984, Joseph Helfrich, an artist-entrepreneur, designed a bottle with a revolutionary shape. The bottle, christened Joséphine, was distinguished by its original curves: a slanted neck and a generous body.

I was also happy to find about the many interesting varieties of wines under the brand during an exclusive wine tasting at Maxam Place.

We had a rare opportunity to interview Gil Chevron who was on tour in Nairobi to create more awareness about the new offerings that J.P Chenet was about to introduce in the African market. Here's what he had to say:

Where did your love for wine and alcohol in general start for you?

I was born in a region called Alsace, in the North East of France. Wine production is one of the major activities in the area, especially renowned for its great whites like Riesling, Pinot Gris, Gewurztraminer… I was naturally brought to it when I started tasting them when I was 10 or 11, during big family Sunday lunches !

Let’s talk about J.P Chenet. How would you describe the brand?

JP Chenet is a wide range of wines (and Brandy), including dry wines, sweet wines, sparkling wines, designed to match everyone’s palate and to make wine accessible to people who don’t know much about it but are eager to learn more.

What does your role at J.P Chenet entail?

JP Chenet is a brand created and belonging to Les Grands Chais de France (LGCF), the company I represent. My job is the wine culture and business development of all our brands at LGCF in all English and Portuguese speaking countries across Africa plus a few French speaking countries in East Africa such as Rwanda, Burundi and Djibouti.

DID YOU KNOW? JP Chenet was named JP Chanel at the beginning, after the name of the Commercial Director who created it. It was later changed to JP Chenet to avoid confusion with the fashion brand Chanel.

What’s your favorite thing about your position?

It gets me to travel across this continent that I love and allows me to spend my days sharing my passion about wine with people from all horizons.

Tell us about JP Chenet – what makes it special and unique?

The JP Chenet brand is a pioneer in its category. It was the very first time French winemakers would create single varietals instead of appellation blends and promote it as such. Hence the very original bottle shape to accentuate this original creation. It has now become the n°1 brand of French wine across the world and is in the top 5 of all wine brands worldwide!

I can’t live without my weekly glass of Margaux, one of the most iconic and beautiful Bordeaux appellation.

Speaking of, what’s the difference between sparkling wine and champagne?

When producing a Champagne, you create the bubbles through a second fermentation happening directly inside the bottle, which is very labor intensive. To produce a sparkling wine, you can either operate this second fermentation in a large tank, or even carbonate a still wine base. Also, one of the major differences is that Champagne can only be produced in the region of Champagne in France, and from specific grapes from this very region when sparkling wines can be produced anywhere with any kind of grapes.

What do people like about JP Chenet the most?

Its original shape and concept, its taste, its story and its continuous evolution to remain on top of the trends.

What is your favorite JP Chenet offering?

My favourite one is the JP Chenet Reserve Pinot Noir. Elegant, powerful, in its unique outfit with a real wood label !

What’s next for JP Chenet, can you tell us a little bit about future plans, activities or new offerings?

You discovered with us in exclusivity some of our new sparkling developments like the delicious JP Chenet Divine and the colorful JP Chenet Fashion and its surprising flavors which are just about to be launched. The rest is still Top Secret !!!

You can get J.P Chenet stocked at TOTS in Naivas as well as Chandarana Supermarkets