Three former high-level athletes, Gérard Bertrand, Michaël Llodra, and Antoine Devaux, have found a new passion in the world of wine after their sports careers. They share why they made this transition.

Gérard Bertrand, a former rugby player, now owns seventeen vineyards in Languedoc and is one of the world’s largest wine producers. He took over his father’s vineyard in Corbières when he was 22 years old after his father’s tragic accident. While playing rugby at a high level in Narbonne, he became a “rugbyman-vigneron” until he turned 30. Bertrand sees many parallels between rugby and winemaking, emphasizing the importance of attention to detail and constant improvement in both fields. He believes that each vintage is like a new match, never the same as before, making it an exciting journey. His experience in rugby taught him resilience, excellence, and the importance of teamwork, which he applies to his winemaking process.

Michaël Llodra, a former tennis player, also transitioned to the wine industry after his sports career. He recalls attending the last Roland-Garros tournament with a bag full of bottles, showcasing his passion for wine even during his tennis days. Llodra highlights the importance of sharing his love for wine with others, whether it’s through selling, producing, or enjoying it at a restaurant.

Antoine Devaux, a former footballer, completes the trio of athletes turned winemakers. While he may have experienced the thrill of competition on the football field, Devaux now finds fulfillment in the art of winemaking. He values the connection between nature, tradition, and craftsmanship in producing quality wines.

These former champions have successfully translated their competitive drive and teamwork skills from sports to the wine industry. Their dedication, resilience, and passion have enabled them to thrive in a new playground, where the vineyards replace the playing fields, and the grapes become their new trophies. As they continue to grow and innovate in the wine world, their athletic background serves as a strong foundation for their success. The journey from sports stardom to winemaking excellence is a testament to their versatility and determination.