Deauville: together with Chais Elles, Carole invites the products and stories of winegrowers to our tables

Carole Gaillard is the founder of “Chais Elles”. ©Le Pays d’Auge / M.-M. mill

“In every bottle, there is a soul wine maker“, smiling Carole Gaillard. Lover of wines, admirer of women winegrowers and curious taster, this Deauville speaks with emotion as he tells the stories of winegrowers he has known and followed for ten years. “I love them all,” she says enthusiastically, talking about some of these life paths. In They are cellars, this ambassador for winegrowers gives the floor to these women she admires so much, while introducing them to their wines. “Chais Elles is the simple and inspiring passion for wines,” he insists.

The story of a thunderbolt

“Chais Elles is a long story,” smiles this 59-year-old Norman through adoption. That in a “coup de coeur” he had about thirty years ago, when he tasted a Jurançon, “a rather soft and sweet wine”. He remembers: “Before that time, I hardly drank, but I fell in love with this wine and it triggered the desire to understand the complex world”. Then holding a DEA in Latin American literature, instead turned to teaching, then he took this new direction, guided by his desire to know. “My teacher side must have come out, she admits. I had a desire to understand terroirs”.

Then aged 30, he enrolled in a wine club. “I was the only girl among these newbies,” she recalled. I learned a lot there, but it was a very academic approach that didn’t quite suit me”. The environment and the understanding of wine did not give him complete satisfaction, but he continued to take part in these meetings for more than 20 years, keeping in mind that later, he would leave for this universe “to bring the person backsay stories and terrors“. What did he decide to do in 2010.

Wines made by women.
Carole features wines made by women. ©Le Pays d’Auge / M.-M. mill

Bringing women back into the spotlight

In addition to this lengthy training, Carole spent a diploma in oenologyfollowing courses and traveling through wine fairs in France.

That’s when I realized that there were many women I didn’t know because at that time, we talked less about women, regardless of the sector.

He realized that these women were “in the shadows”, even though they were in charge of the estates. “Back then many women received family domains on delivery and since we never deconstructed a domain name, they kept their male names,” explains this wine lover.

Faced with this observation, listening to these women who tasted their products “with pride and authenticity”, Carole Gaillard found her way: it was decided, she would not speak only winegrowers and then launch They are cellars. “They speak of their courage, both of the hardships and the joys that this profession brings them. There is real sincerity and a lot of sensitivity.” One side very human which he especially appreciates. “What I want is to show the talents of women who don’t have the chance to be recognized, but also to bring people back to the world of wine,” he explained. Women he meets in the four corners of France. “Currently, 32% of winegrowers are women in France. There were those who received domains in delivery, the widows and found themselves overnight in these vines. There are also women who, in mid-life crisis, buy vineyards and launch themselves,” he added, admiringly.

Some labels on his bottle

The March 8, 2013he threw Nantes The first fair for women winegrowers which will last several years, before he left Nantes in 2016 to Paris.

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It was an incredible achievement and I was especially moved by the presence of women of a certain age, often alone, who never dared to enter a salon at that time. They thought it made a product they wanted accessible. By dedicating myself to women only, it made it possible to remove the barriers for these novice women who did not dare to think about the fact that they also tasted wine. I find that the wine world is becoming more feminine on all levels, and that’s a good thing.

Next to this facet in events, where it also organizes shows Lille, Nice or even to Madrid and in Quebec, Carole multiplied the covers on Chais Elles. Going to meet women, arrange round tablesof tastes as freelance sommelier where he introduces the wines he appreciates, helping restaurateurs to creating wine listsride a Online Store to share her favorites or even host a “food and wine pairing” dinner: her role as an ambassador for women winegrowers knows no bounds. A concept that it has also begun to develop in other countries, specifically in Asia, in Taiwan, before covid got involved. “The international dimension that I accept by bringing this French art of living has stopped and does not continue at this moment”, he regrets.

Women in the spotlight at Ama

Carole Gaillard accompanied several restaurateurs in preparing their wine list. In Deauville, this is the case, for example, of the restaurant-boutique Ama, in Presqu’île. A menu that puts women in the spotlight in this place where you can rub shoulders with new flavors and share them. “I suggested wines that correspond to the place and the cuisine that makes us travel, he explained. The wine takes on the taste of the person who will serve it and the place where it is drunk”.

Each time, her goal is the same: to highlight these women and tell their stories. “When I hear these women, when I see them in person, when I discover their estates, I understand their wines better because they make wines in their image, we see their character inside. That’s what I want to share, I really want to invite newbies They are cellars“.

Wine in Normandy?

From Nantes, Carole Gaillard left Paris for Deauville about a year ago. A choice he does not regret. “It is not yet a wine region, but it will become one, he smiled. I have already been contacted by women with this project and with vines, but we have to wait a few years”. In fact, in Normandy, some projects are emerging, with the planting of vines such as Beaumont-en-Auge or Blangy-le-Château. “I’m sure we’ll talk about Norman wines in a moment”.

In the meantime, Carole Gaillard does not forget the Norman territory and also highlights producers of spirits such as Agathe Letellier of Manoir d’Apreval in Pennedepie who notably produces cider, pommeau and calvados. “Agathe Letellier […] is animated by the expression of Norman Terroir, by respect for the land, by quality and above all by the authenticity of the Norman character. He produces a range of remarkable, world-famous ciders and Calvados in organic form”, Carole Gaillard wrote about the producer.

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