Orient Express Racing Team CEO, Stephan Kandler, is bringing together his two lifelong passions in the build-up to the 37th edition of the America’s Cup — sailing and wine. Some 10,000 guests expected at the French challenger’s Barcelona base throughout 2024 will be able to enjoy red, white and rosé wines from Les Vignobles Kandler, now an Official Supplier to the Orient Express Racing Team.
“Both Orient Express Racing Team and our AOP Minervois and Côtes du Rhône Villages Gadagne organic vineyards share common values: excellence, team spirit, innovation and social and ecological commitment,” said Kandler. “Both enterprises are constantly adapting to a natural environment that must be cared for and are committed to concrete actions in the area of diversity. Two demanding and similar worlds. I’m delighted to be able to bring my two passions together at the heart of the Orient Express Racing Team project, which is an excellent international showcase for French expertise and excellence.”
One family, two wine estates.
The Kandler family arrived in Languedoc-Roussillon 30+ years ago by sea at a time when few believed in its potential. The Franco-German family bought a remote vineyard in Roubia in the Minervois region between land and sea, close to Carcassonne and the Canal du Midi. Château Tourril takes its name from the ancient Gallo-Roman signal tower, the Pierre du Tourril, that overlooks the estate and is a reminder of its 2,000-year provenance. The second generation took over management of the family wine business in 2014, expanding the estate, converting it to organic farming and developing
its reputation and exports.
Driven by a common passion for southern French wines, Stephan Kandler met and collaborated with Bertrand Hardy of Domaine des Pentelines located in the South Rhône Valley between Avignon and Châteauneuf du Pape, to create an organic wine in 2016. After three vintages together, Hardy retired and the Kandler Family took over the 24-hectare organic vineyard – a jewel in the crown of the AOP Côtes du Rhône Villages Gadagne wines created out of the same galets roulés soil (pebbles) that make the Châteauneuf du Pape wines so famous. This vineyard also offers a fully renovated guest house experience at the heart of the vineyard with breathtaking views over the Pope’s Palace in Avignon. The red, white, clairet and rosé wines are sold in over 20 countries.
Rendezvous in Montpellier or Paris
Certified organic wines from the Kandler family vineyards — Château Tourril (AOP Minervois) and Domaine des Pentelines (Côtes du Rhône Villages Gadagne) — will be on show at two high-profile international trade fairs, the Millésime Bio – Montpellier from 29 to 31 January, and Wine Paris – Vinexpo from 12 to 14 February.