The domaine is owned by Jacques Calvel, a man with an eye for excellence. Jacques was born in in a very small village, Rodome, in the French Pyrénées . After Engineering studies in Toulouse, where he also played rugby, the most popular regional sport, he started his career in Information Technology with IBM, working in France and the USA. He left IBM and began managing small teams, developing advanced software programs in the area of Numerical Mapping, Computer Aided Design and Manufacturing and Document Management. In 1987 in Geneva he created his own software firm which quickly expanded to Basel and Zurich covering Switzerland. In 1999 he sold his business to the Thalès Group (in preparation for the year 2000 bug!). In 2001, he left the IT world for good and this gave him the freedom to bring his technical mind and passion for excellence to the world of sparkling wines. In 2002, Jacques bought the Domaine J. Laurens located near Limoux, in the foothills of the French Pyrénées, from a Champagne-based sparkling wine expert, Michel Dervin. Michel was known as an excellent winemaker but without funds to have his own domain in Champagne. Thanks to the support of his family and friends Michel created from scratch Domaine J.Laurens at the beginning of the 1980’s. He defined the 2 key cuvées which made the reputation of the domaine, which are still made and sold. Michel decided to sell the domaine and Jacques saw the opportunity to come back close to his native region. During his last year Michel directly trained Henri Albrus who became the new winemaker, and Michel supported Henri for a few years after leaving the domaine. Jacques now had a new opportunity to use his skill and life experiences developed in the technology world (worldwide commercialization, team building, management).
In addition, wine is a business where conviviality and friendship are fundamental and a part of everyday life! In only a few short years Jacques assembled an excellent team covering all areas of needed expertise: caring for the vines, producing fine and elegant sparkling wines made in the traditional method and marketing and selling sparkling wines worldwide. His main goals have been to produce consistently high-quality wines year after year, to produce only sparkling wines and to sell only through professional networks who provide great service to customers. In addition to his lofty goals, high standards and accomplishments, Princess and Bear would like to say that he is a wonderful human being.
As we personally complete the one-year cycle of forming our business and bringing it to fruition in our first shipment which is headed west across the Atlantic ocean at this moment, we also were here in France to watch the cycle of the vine which is the lifeblood of this region. Take a look at this short video to give you a taste of the real Languedoc from our eyes. https://youtu.be/E4rG-8Ky0HQ. The spring is like a huge inhale and expansion full of life. Tender lime green leaves on the vines, flowering wild herbs, and budding fruit and almond trees filling the air with their scent. All of the newness and potential that will become the fullness of the summer. And now as fall sets in, the earth, the vines and the people give a big exhale as the winter chill approaches. Here are some of our favorite shots of the cycle: early spring greenness and blossoms, the glorious poppies of summer, the harvest and now the fall as the cycle closes.
Fall is a wonderful time to be with your family and friends, because it’s our inside time. Time to renew ourselves and time to reconnect with all the people who in the end give our life it’s true meaning.