In 2009 Jeany and Stephen Cronk decided to pack up their lives in South London and move to the South of France, with the dream to produce their very own world-class rosé wine. That dream became Maison Mirabeau. Since launching their first bottle of rosé to the market, Mirabeau has gone from strength to strength and is widely recognised as one of the world’s most delicious rosés. It is especially synonymous with celebration. As well as being the choice for many brides and grooms on their wedding day, Mirabeau has been enjoyed at some of the country’s most prestigious events including Goodwood, Aspall Tennis Classic at the Hurlingham Club, and Cannes Boat Show. We sat down with Maison Mirabeau co-founder Jeany, to chat about how the adventure changed their lives and what’s to come.
Stephen discovered his passion for wine while traveling around Australia back in the 80s and had a small wine company when he was just out of University, before moving on to a career in tech. But Rosé always had a special place in our hearts and that was the wine the two of us felt most drawn to once we started going out. Stephen even proposed to me over a bottle of Rosado in Mallorca!
Provence’s dry Rosés seemed such approachable and delectable wines, perfect with or without food – surely we couldn’t be the only people feeling so in love with this style of wine? We spent a few years battling the idea of whether we could be winemakers and bring these wines back to the UK and in 2009 we finally took the leap to try our luck and move to the South of France.
How Did Family Life Change With The Move To France?
After our move to France, we came down with a bump and realised we had a lot to learn in our new home. Moving our three children to a completely different place, with a different language, education system, and culture, was a bigger task than we’d imagined. But we hunkered down and spent the remainder of that year getting our bearings, properly learning to live the Provençal way, and crisscrossing the country searching and finding the best vineyards to work with. Throwing ourselves into the deep end, taught us all some great lessons on resilience and we both feel the kids have ultimately benefitted from having to work through those difficult early moments.
The Biggest Achievement So Far?
Over the last 12 years, we were lucky enough to have a few! We are now a global brand, selling in 50 countries around the world. We have gradually grown our award-winning range to show interesting styles of wine from this region, whilst also having a bit of fun with innovation. Designing and crafting our Dry Rosé Gin, which we launched in 2020, was such an amazing project and we are so happy it’s been such a success.
A real personal moment of pride for Stephen and I was releasing our single estate cuvée La Réserve from our wine estate near La Garde Freinet, which we acquired in 2019. Having started the conversion of the vineyard to organic and practicing regenerative farming principles, we focused on reintroducing biodiversity into the soil to sequester carbon, strengthen the vines and give a unique sense of terroir. Stephen has just recently launched the Regenerative Viticulture Foundation here in London to build a community of best practices to support other winemakers to take incremental steps to farming in a more mindful way.
Why Does Mirabeau In Particular Work So Well For A Celebration Such As A Wedding?
Rosé has this ability to inspire beautiful moments and works so well for many occasions, from celebrating the everyday to those extra special ones, like a wedding. For Stephen and I, it is the biggest compliment when people choose to celebrate their wedding day with Mirabeau and we absolutely love seeing how we can support them with their celebrations.
We have an extensive range of Rosé wines and there is a bottle for every moment from our sparkling La Folie for that first reception drink, to our Mirabeau Dry Rosé Gin for bespoke cocktails or our flagship Mirabeau Pure Rosé to accompany you through dinner. The pale pink colours of our Rosés and their curated designs mean they fit perfectly into the look and feel of a beautifully designed wedding.
Do You Have Any Particular Food Pairings That Work With Mirabeau?
Rosé is a wonderful food partner and expertly pairing the two together, is one of our passions. Each of our wines has a different personality and profile, so there really is a wine for every food occasion. For example, our Mirabeau Classic Provence Rosé is ideal for aromatic foods like bruschetta with tapenade or vegetable curry. Our La Folie Sparkling Rosé is perfect for all canapés and finger food. The vegan Belle Année pairs well with a grapefruit, rocket, and pine kernel salad or a bowl of ripe strawberries and whipped coconut cream. Pure, with its more citrus flavour profile, is the ultimate aperitif and a perfect partner to Asian cuisine, grilled light meats, and seafood, like grilled butterfly prawns.
Tell Us About Your Pink Gin?
Stephen and I had dabbled with the idea of producing a gin for some time, but we wanted it to be a natural step and one that was true to our heritage as winemakers. The right moment came along when we discovered that most of the grapes from our wine estate, as well as those surrounding us, get distilled into this amazing grape spirit, so we decided to build our aromatic Gin around this beautiful component. Being surrounded by an abundance of botanicals along the French Riviera was an instant source of inspiration and so we experimented with those plants to find a Gin with the perfect balance.
Mirabeau Dry Rosé Gin is a classic Dry Gin at its core and is built on a base of 100% grape neutral spirit, made from up-cycled grape skins (post pressing for wine), which serves as a soft and round base spirit. We really wanted to re-define the sweet pink gin category with a dry, yet highly aromatic style, that while juniper-forward, provides a uniquely smooth and delicate mouthfeel. It is distilled in small batches in a copper pot still with 12 key botanicals. Lemons and Coriander bring a citrus character whilst Orris and Angelica roots impart earthy notes. Our delicate balance of Rose, Lavender, and Jasmine brings a variety of floral tones. Finally, Bay, Thyme, and Rosemary add a finely balanced herbaceous character to the blend.
As a unique touch, Mirabeau Rosé wine is added to the macerate before distillation, bringing additional fruity character and a further link back to this iconic wine region and our heritage.
What’s Next For Mirabeau?
Our priority is the same as on day one. To produce leading wines and spirits which have been mindfully made for people to enjoy and love. We are on our journey to achieving B-Corp certification later this year and are looking forward to celebrating the dedication of our team to continuously revisit and challenge how we can be and do better across all our lines of work. We are also working on a couple of new products which we look forward to launching later this year to further embrace more mindful winemaking and spirits concepts.
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