Introduce yourself briefly…
Tall, handsome and intelligent… (Laughter). Seriously though, my name is Sébastien Coquard. I’m 35 years old, a father and a winemaker – the fourth generation, passed down the paternal line. I farm 20 hectares with Elodie, my wife and partner. We produce Gamay wines for Beaujolais, Vin de France for Le Chat Rouge and Jasper, Chardonnay, and Pinot Noir. I’m also a director of Agamy.
How did you become winemaker ?
Just like Obelix, I fell into the magic potion. When I was little, I didn’t have a nanny. My grandmother looked after me at the farm. I spent lots of time out in the vines with my grandfather and my father. As a teenager, I spent four years studying at a winemaking school, going on to obtain two vocational qualifications. I also spent periods as an apprentice, working at vineyards in Alsace, Saint-Tropez, and here in Beaujolais with my father.
I got involved in the cooperative, and I ended up going back to school to study for a specialist qualification in agricultural management with Coopérative de France and ESSEC.
What makes you proud of your job?
Lots of things! Working for myself and being my own boss. Working with nature, the land and plants. I’m also proud to produce something that brings people joy and pleasure, rather than a necessity. Ultimately, our aim is to make sure that people who open one of our bottles really enjoy it. I’m also proud of my vineyard. I like to stop and admire it from time to time.
What are your passions outside of your job?
I don’t have a lot of spare time, but I like playing football (I’m on the veterans’ team at St Romain de Popay). I also enjoy trout fishing in the Allier and Loire gorges in Haute-Loire. I love being outdoors, whether it’s on my mountain bike, walking or skiing. I also enjoy the finer things in life. I love cooking and discovering new wine and food combinations, and spending time with my friends. I’m involved in community life here in the village, organising events and special occasions.