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He's on a mission to make Limoux famous
Limoux is the most tenured French sparkling wine region in the world — but you’ve probably never heard of it. Baptiste is here to change that.
He’s on this mission with his mother Françoise — who also proudly shares her bubbles with Angels. Together, they’re elevating the incredible wines of their home that they know and love — because they know you will love them, too.
Baptiste is a 7th generation winemaker following his family’s sparkling path — but at his young age, there’s no telling how far this next generation of Limoux will go.
Baptiste Gazeau's Story
Baptiste’s family has deep roots in Limoux, France, where he’s a 7th generation winemaker for his family’s premium sparkling house — Maison Antech. While growing up, he listened, wide-eyed, to stories of how the winery was handed down through the Gazeau family.
Since its founding in 1860, Maison Antech has had seven winemakers (including Baptiste), and five of those were women. At the beginning of WWI, when the men went off to battle, the women were left to take care of the estate without knowing much about winemaking. When the men returned in 1918, expecting to regain their places in the winery, the women were happily crafting sparkling wines and refused to let things go back to how they were. Eugénie, Baptiste’s great-great-great grandmother, became the winery’s first female winemaker, setting the tone for the future of Maison Antech.
“[Eugénie] said no, now I know how to make wine, I know how to cultivate the vineyard, I want to continue! And this woman, as well as all the women at Maison Antech, always had a very strong personality. And when I hear this story, I think that if she could do this at the beginning of the century, during a war, with no knowledge; everything I’ll face in life and every issue I will have is likely nothing. It gives me a lot of motivation.”
How Baptiste Took the Reins
When Baptiste decided he wanted to be a winemaker, it was while he was pouring a glass of wine in South Korea. He traveled to the country as part of his undergraduate business degree and landed a job as a sommelier based purely on the fact that he had a French accent and some basic wine knowledge.
“The main thing I learned is that I don’t know anything, and that most people don’t know anything. It was very scary to think that there are so many varieties, so much taste, and so many bottles, and I didn’t know anything. But — knowing that most people were just here to enjoy a glass, have a good moment, and share a good story — I realized I understood enough of what wine is really about.”
When he returned to France, he obtained two Masters degrees that he knew would help him take Maison Antech to the next level: one in entrepreneurship and one in Wine Management from OIV. The unique OIV program covered every aspect of winemaking in the most hands-on way possible. Baptiste spent one year visiting 25 countries to taste over 10,000 wines at over 800 estates, spending 1-2 weeks completing specific courses in wine and viticulture schools across the globe. Looking back on it he says, “I took out a big loan. I think I have 15 more years with the bank, but it was worth it. Definitely.” He graduated with wine knowledge that would usually be obtained over decades, if at all, and an acute sense of what made Limoux so special on the global stage — Mauzac.
Partnering with Naked, Protecting Mauzac
When he joined his mother, Françoise Gazeau, as a Maison Antech winemaker, he was also eager to join her at Naked Wines where she proudly shares her bubbles with Angels. In both positions, Baptiste is committed to preserving their vineyards through sustainable practices and serving as a protector of Mauzac — Limoux’s local grape variety. In the recent past, Mauzac vineyards have been ripped out to be replanted with a more popular grape: Chardonnay. No Mauzac in Limoux means no Mauzac in the world!
“Blanquette de Limoux is made with 100% Mauzac. In the 1890’s you’d see a lot of Paris restaurants listing Blanquette de Limoux as more expensive than Champagne, but as I said earlier we’re very good at winemaking but not so good at marketing.”
Baptiste is eager to bring the Angels an exclusive taste of Limoux, and build a reputation for his beloved grape with wine drinkers everywhere!
I am a computer geek working for a large consumer products company. I have always liked wine to a certain extent since I was old enough to drink it (or my parents would let me try it). However, I was seriously bit by the wine bug a number of years ago and began trying everything! I now have a cellar with over 200 bottles (and really shouldn't according to my wife, as I am the only one in the house that likes wine). Of course, it means I need to have more people over to share it with :). Bas vers le haut!