Berlin Travelogue Heroes #3 Mathias, the French oenologist

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"My Spanish roots gave me the “convivencia” (the conviviality) and from the French part the good manners. "

Could you introduce yourself and your passion project?
I am 40 years old, and I worked in fashion for 15 years in Paris. I got fed up with the Parisian fashion industry and I decided to change direction. Since a long time, I was interested in wine so I decided to start a career in the wine business. I left Paris for Dijon, the capital of Burgundy, mustard, great wine, and cheese!

When did you decide to make a living out of your project?
In fact 5 years ago when I decided to change my career I studied in Burgundy and in London. At some point, I had to do an internship and I decided to make it Berlin. I did at the Mövenpick Wine Cellar in Charlottenburg. That was the first time for me I ever visited Berlin and it was such a good surprise, I fell in love with this city. As I always say, Berlin is like Paris 20 years ago with a really good energy. Plus, it was easier for me to open up a business here rather than in Paris.

 Mathias's favorite place in the wine cellar

Mathias's favorite place in the wine cellar

You opened this shop 1 year ago, were you alone?
I did it alone but I had a partner that was supporting me financially. Felix, that I know since 15 years is the son of a winemaker in Meursault. Really open-minded guy, and interested in supporting good projects, at least I hope (laughs).  

What do you bring back from your roots into your passion project?
Let’s talk about origins: from my mother part, I have some Swedish and Jewish origins. From the Swedish, I value equality and I am open to other influences. The Jewish origins give me a sense of solidarity and community. From my father Spanish and French roots. The Spanish roots gave me the “convivencia” (the conviviality) and from the French part the good manners.

And do they influence the products you are selling?
Of course. We import wine from my region Burgundy. And from a specific part called “La route des Grands Crus,”  we are talking about really high quality and luxurious wines. We have two types of grapes the Pinot Noir for the reds and the Chardonnay for the whites. But also other products like truffles or pickles. Burgundy is the last place in France where they still produce pickles, otherwise, they are imported from India. And of course the mustard and cheese.

 He built a structure where every guests could see every wine bottle from every angle. 

He built a structure where every guests could see every wine bottle from every angle. 

Is there a ritual you like to have before starting your tastings?
I have many rituals but one of them is to have a really good glass of white wine called Puligny Montrachet. I think it is one of the best Chardonnay’s you can find in the world.

What is in your world the capital of food?
I will not be very original but I will say Dijon. It is a gastronomic city of France. First because of the quality of the products, in Dijon, there is this amazing market where you can find artisanal products like cheese, meat, marmalade and foie gras. The food and the recipes from Burgundy are amazing.

Any particular dish comes to your mind?
Of course, there is the “boeuf bourguignon” but I would like to say the “Poulet Gaston Gérard” (Chicken Gaston Gérard). Do not ask me who this guy is, I forgot (laughs).


When was the last time you got impressed by a chef in Berlin?
Last time was in a Swiss Restaurant called Alpenstück in Mitte. Not really a fan of the setting, it is a bit aseptic, like a pharmacy. But the food is really, really good. The Cordobar has an amazing wine list and Katz Orange is also one of my favorites! My personal french favorite in Berlin is Les Lumières.

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"As I always say, Berlin is like Paris 20 years ago with a really good energy."

From which other parts of the world do you enjoy the wine?
Germany! It may sound surprising, but Germany and Austria. They have excellent winemakers, especially for the white ones. I was really impressed during my internship in Berlin to discover the quality of the white wine. South Africa is also a reference in terms of wine.

What was the country you have been to that inspired you the most?
French Polynesia, It was so amazing. The lagoons, nature, clear water. I swam with sharks I was totally scared but so worth it.

Interview made on a sunny day the 18th of April in Berlin
Made by Annalena - beautiful pictures by Kama