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Bert Van Wassenhove

We got acquainted with Bert Van Wassenhove by a strike of sheer luck on a cold and frosty morning back in November 2019 while we were waiting for Sébastien Morin to meet with to meet us at some desolate street corner in Saint-Étienne-des-Oullières.

Out of the morning mist comes an old Citroén and when the van passes us Solfinn said: “Did I really know the guy that just passed me in the middle of nowhere in France”?

Then the car comes to a halt and a long-limped hipster crawls out of the van and looks at Solfinn with about the same expression as he has on his face: “We know each other, right”?!

And so they did as it turned out to be Bert Van Wassenhove, a coffee barista from Amsterdam, that Solfinn met through some of his wine friends on an epic yet hazy night in Antwerp in Belgium a couple of years back. However, this meeting didn’t make any sense until Bert introduced us to the driver of the car, Olga des Grottes, the sister of the famous natural winemaker Romain des Grottes. What Solfinn didn’t know at the time was that we were blocking the driveway to the  Grottes family estate and that Bert in the meantime had made his way into the family.

Of course the little sister happens to be making natural wine as well and that fine morning we incidentally crashed the labeling of her very first commercial vintage. And it was magic! 

So here we were, waiting on some desolate street corner in Saint-Étienne-des-Oullières, excited to taste the latest vintage from a person who we considered to be one the great new talents on the Beaujolais natural wine scene, namely Sébastien Morin, and by a strike of pure luck we end up killing time with Olga des Grottes and her dutch boyfriend, Bert, and get to taste Gavinol 1.0 which was as close to pure magic on a bottle as you can get!

It might seem tacky but this the kind of stories fairytales are made of.

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