About Us

Who we are

Ellen Bakke Mawdsley tramping grapes in an open fermentor, Tristan Mawdsley helping out with a wine press

Driven by their involvement with the family winery in the south of France and their own “consumer” desire to find great wines at value for money prices, Ellen Bakke Mawdsley and Tristan Mawdsley established Vinique in 2009 as a specialist importer of new discovery wines into Switzerland.

 

Vinique’s goal is to be recognised for the quality and uniqueness of their wine selection from areas of Europe that are under-represented in the Swiss market and also that they offer the best possible quality for the price.

 

We spend many hours and drive 1000's kms searching out the wine-makers that we believe all people want to find; that is making great value wines that have been truly hand crafted, not machine “manufactured”. These wines should really taste like they are worth it right along the price range and they should also have a great story behind them. In almost all cases the grapes are organically and biodynamically farmed as well. These small, family wineries tend to be overlooked by the big importers, even though they have great ratings and therefore almost all of them are unique to us here in Switzerland, so that combined with the quality, they give the experience of being a true discovery; something special.

 

VINIQUE VIP.

 

This is a new service this year where we are inviting people to join a preferred members club on an annual basis which has a number of advantages –

 

  • Receive an additional 10% discount on all orders across our whole wine selection in addition to the case discount (except event wines which already receive the additional 10% discount
  • Receive advanced notification of our events
  • Receive first refusal notice on “limited availability” wines that sell out immediately
  • Receive an invitation to an additional PREMIUM wine tasting event that is only open to VINIQUE VIP members
  • Gain privileged access to the winemakers that we invite to our main events through members only workshops

Example wineries

Even Bakke at the sorting table with friends and family

Clos de Trias

A talented Norwegian winemaker making terroir driven, natural wines from an old estate on the slopes of Mont Ventoux.

 

Having been inspired to food and wine at his mother's restaurant, Even Bakke became a very experienced winemaker in California, establishing an impressive CV, such as Matanzas Creek and Landmark amoungst others.

 

He fulfilled his ambition of having his own vineyard when the family bought an old run down estate in the north of the Ventoux appellation (Southern Rhone), in a spectacular setting at the foot of the Dentelles and Mont Ventoux itself. The attraction of the estate was the terroir, with a range of parcels spread between 360 and 420 meters, mostly in Triassic limestone clay, hence the new name. With 20ha of mostly Grenache and an average vine age over 40 years, he has fantastic grapes to work with.

 

2007 was the first harvest and he has farmed organically and with biodynamic principles from the outset. A full certification is in place since 2010. For Even, this is not a marketing ploy, it is truly a way of life and it shows throughout everything that is done at the winery. Even is clearly a talented winemaker, who has been able to take the modern techniques acquired in California and meld them in a natural way with the fabulous vines of this Provencal hillside. Harvest every year is carried out by friends and family. Everything is hand picked, then hand sorted again at the winery. Vinification is carried out with natural yeasts and slow extraction. Aging tends to be long, but use of oak tends to be subtle allowing the wine and the terroir to shine through.

A view of Can Grau Vell with Montserrat in the background

Alcor, Can Grau Vell

A tiny estate, run as a labour of love by a passionate restauranteur from Barcelona

 

This tiny winery was started by Jordi Castellvi in 2002 near Hostalets de Pierola, on the west side of the stunning Montserrat mountains, just outside Barcelona where Jordi runs his fabulous restaurant, Café de L'Academia.

 

With the help of the Pérez Ovejero family (Mas Martinet - Priorat), he planted new vines around his own home, surrounded by forest and situated 350-450m above the sea level with a mixture of soil types. Just three hectares of vines (Syrah, Grenache, Cabernet Sauvignon, Monastrell and Marselan) were planted on a “no expenses spared” basis. Its small size allows for very high attention to detail and manual intervention. He follows both organic and Biodymanic principles.

 

Since the first vintage in 2004, the wine has been constantly rated 93 points by José Peñín, the top Spanish wine critic, putting it in amoungst the top 3 wines in Catalunya. Jordi lives above the winery now and also sells the wine in his own restaurant. He could easily have chosen to vinify this wine and package it far more cheaply for just the "House brew", but chose to go the other way and produce something truly exceptional. This is clearly his lifetime passion and it shows. The terroir is amazing to be generating such high quality from such young vines. Alcor’s of the future will clearly just get better and better.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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