Your Sommelier was established in 2014 by Celian Ravel d'Estienne and Vianney de Leudeville. Two Frenchmen who gave up their successful banking careers in London to set up an independent online wine retailer offering weekly exclusive offers & monthly wine subscription boxes of the finest French wines and Champagnes directly from the producers. This is their story:
Our love affair with French wine began many years before Your Sommelier was created. Born in France, wine was an integral part of family-life for both of us; a gathering around the table would have been incomplete without a bottle to share. As young men, we travelled to the UK to further our careers in the banking industry. We loved London life, however, having grown up with the flavour of good-quality French wine, we were disheartened to discover a real lack of its availability on British soil.
Despite much searching, the French offerings we did discover were mostly poor in quality, mass-market wines or incredibly expensive! There were just not enough of the 'little gems' that remind us of home. Through our frustration, our desire to obtain authentic wines grew. And so Your Sommelier was born.
To prepare our business venture, we booked flights to France and arranged to meet with some winemakers. Whilst visiting the vineyards we learnt all about the winemaking process - from harvesting all the way through to bottling. With this, we realised our mission should not only be to share our passion for French wine with other wine-lovers, but to educate, too. There really is so much to know!
We continued to build our repertoire and have since journeyed back to many regions of France - from the hills of Alsace to vineyards of Rhone valley - sourcing only the best wines that France has to offer. We wanted to be sure Your Sommelier would only be supplying the wines that we would drink ourselves, to guarantee a special flavour within every bottle, as well as a unique story behind every Domaine we work with.
Back in the UK, we tested our concept amongst family and friends... the reception was amazing! The energy and time we'd invested researching, travelling, sampling and learning was totally worth it, and we were really excited to expand. Most importantly, we wanted our concept to be simple and accessible to everyone, not only to wine experts, and of course sell only what we would buy for ourselves!
Today, we continue to unearth the finest wines from across all French wine regions to ensure the very best quality. Your Sommelier offers a monthly wine subscription service, gift subscriptions and exclusive discounts for our members through our weekly offers. We remain the only wine business in the UK whose speciality is exclusively French.
Every subscription box contains three bottles of the finest French wines and corresponding tasting cards, inviting our members to discover a diversity of flavours whilst learning a wealth of knowledge.
We took our offering to a crowd-funding platform in 2017 and it was truly an incredible experience. The concept was extremely popular and we raised enough to expand our service and offer more to our amazing customers.
What have we learnt? There is so much diversity in French Wine! From classic Bordeaux to unusual Languedoc, from Chardonnay to Syrah or blends of Cabernet and Merlot… there is a wine for every taste and we work hard everyday to make sure everyone can find a match for them!
We hope you join us on our adventure!
Celian – Co-Founder & CEO
Celian has always been passionate about food and wine and it’s not a surprise that he has left a successful banking career to launch Your Sommelier… the real question is what was he doing in a bank in the first place? Born in Paris, he moved to London in 2006. The big decision came in 2013: let’s create a website to sell the wine we would love to find in the UK!
Celian’s favourite wines: He has always been very keen on classic Bordeaux for reds and Burgundy for whites. Being always curious of everything, he has also discovered wines from Loire or Languedoc that were really amazing so in the end, he is always happy to try something new!
Vianney – Co-Founder & Head of Selection Committee
Vianney also started a career in banking before resigning to found Your Sommelier with Célian. He passed the WSET (Wine and Spirit Education Trust) level 3 Advanced to develop his knowledge of the wine industry and improve his wine tasting skills. He is very active on the wine selection and tasting notes.
Vianney's favourite wines: he loves whites from Burgundy, where he thinks the terroir makes the most of the Chardonnay grape, and red wines from the Northern Rhône Valley, being a big fan of Syrah. All this without forgetting what made him love wine so much: big classified Bordeaux reds from the left bank!