Gérard Bertrand, Jon Bon Jovi and his son, the story of a stunning wine success story

Four years ago, the rock star with 130 million albums sold made the front page of a special issue of Paris Match with his son Jesse and Narbonnais winemaker Gérard Bertrand for the start of their joint adventure in wine. Since then, their Hampton Water rosé has continued to broaden its horizons around the world. Gathered at the Aude this weekend, the trio answered our questions. Story of a success story born in Occitania.

What motivated you to come to the land of Narbonnais winemaker Gérard Bertrand this weekend, do you have other projects around wine?

Jesse Bongiovi: It’s the first chance we’ve had in a while to be able to come here and we took the chance to hang out with Gerard, browse the vineyards (the singer and his son were also spotted Saturday night at the Hospitalet Beach inauguration , Gérard Bertrand’s private beach in Narbonne, editors note), then travel to Paris to meet wine enthusiasts curious about wine, and to continue to share the history of Hampton Water.

How did your collaboration around this wine come about?

Jesse Bongiovi: We had the concept, label, name and desire to share the art of living in the Hamptons (mythical vacation spot, popular with the American elite in upstate New York, editors’ note). And when we started questioning the people around us about the development of rosé wine, we were introduced to Gérard Bertrand who told us: “I’m going to show you our art of living!”

We wanted the wine to come from the South of France, we knew all our favorite wines came from there. We had the chance to come here, to spend time together and then the partnership was really born a few years ago.

Other American personalities have embarked on wine adventures, buying a vineyard in Provence like George Lucas, Brad Pitt or Ridley Scott, or buying a Champagne brand like Jay-Z, were you looking for something different?

Jesse Bongiovi: Yes absolutely. Credibility and continuity were extremely important to us. We knew we could get fans to buy the first bottle, but what was in the bottle had to be exceptional enough to buy a second, then a third, and a fourth.

The four years with scores of more than 90 points (reference to the scores obtained by this wine in the international guides Wine Spectator, Wine Enthusiast etc.) are all due to Gérard’s know-how, his art and his incredible skills and, as he says , to “a thousand and one details”. We had a huge success and we are happy that we can now share it around the world.

50 countries, 1 million bottles

Launched in 2018, the Hampton Water rosé quickly enjoyed success across the Atlantic, earning more than 90 points by the wine spectator five years in a row. Hampton Water is today distributed in more than 50 countries around the world and the symbolic limit of one million bottles sold will be exceeded by 2022. The brand is now expanding its distribution in Europe with in particular the commitment of a partnership with Hard Rock Café formalized on Monday 9 May in Paris. In France, the distribution of the wine of Jon Bon Jovi, Jesse Bongiovi and Gérard Bertrand relies mainly on the Carrefour network.

What makes this wine unique?

Jon Bon Jovi: These thousand and one details, the place where it comes from, this terroir, Gérard’s great passion for winemaking and ours for promoting this art of living in the world…

Jesse Bongiovi: And for us, rosé must be accessible. If wine is new to you or intimidating you, you can try a high quality rosé, don’t worry about how people will like it. We really wanted to make it a wine for everyone to enjoy and I think we succeeded.

Gerard Bertrand: Jon Bon Jovi and Jesse Bongiovi chose the south of France because they love the terroir, they love secret places. It was important to me to strive for excellence, while listening to them and sharing with them what they wanted. This is a collaborative wine, of course the first year I did the blending myself, but now we do it together.

We chose to age part of the wine in oak barrels, to increase complexity and length. And, as Jesse said, the most important thing is the second bottle you buy, not the first. That’s why Hampton Water is so successful around the world. Because we want to exceed consumer expectations. It is a premium rosé. And Americans love wines that convey a message, the Languedoc has strong roots, 24 centuries of history.

Jon and Jesse are taking their knowledge of the market to the next level today. The Languedoc is very diversified because we also produce red wines, white wines, but the rosé is by far ahead of the American market. He changed things.

Jon, what is your relationship with wine?

Jon Bon Jovi: I’ve always loved wine. I think it owes a lot to the pairing of food and wine, to long evenings with friends. I’ve evolved more specifically in the types of wines I like, I usually opt for something light in the evening, like a rosé. But wine has always been my favorite drink.

It is thus the alliance between a singer who is in love with wine and a winegrower who plays music in his vineyards every summer…

Jon Bon Jovi: Gérard loves music and has understood its collective dimension. Whether you’re on stage with a band or producing a song, it’s a collaboration, just like making a bottle of wine, it takes a lot of people to make it happen. Here we find the same collective effort.

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