When we’ve decided to inaugurate this new blog section about wine-interviews, we never thought to get so high!
We’ve had the pleasure to interview Julien Miquel, the man behind Social Vignerons, the wine blog that rocketed up the world ranking list to the third place, covering that position for the last two years.
Needless to say that for wine lovers and passionate of sharing like us, Julien is an example to follow….have a look to his blog to understand what we mean! 😉
Clarity, plenty of informations, variety of topics, competence are some of the characteristics you can find surfing and letting loose along his blog. And the number of his followers can show the approval he’s collecting everywhere!
So here’s the interview, get comfortable and good reading!
IlNomadediVino: Could you tell us when and how you decided to start your wine blog, and when you realized that you could become a world wine influencer? Was it your goal from the beginning or did it come along the way?
Julien Miquel: I made fine wine around the world, in France, Italy, Spain, California, Australia and New Zealand for about 10 years when I realized that I could share my passion for this beverage with a broader audience in the digital world than I had been doing as a winemaker. I could use my experience and knowledge accumulated over the years to educate, entertain, and exchange with the global wine community on social media.
I worked for the most visited wine-related website, called Wine-Searcher for over 6 years and learnt a lot about the digital world of wine.
This is when, to continue learning and sharing my passion for wine through new media, I built and launched my Social Vignerons blog. I wasn’t expecting to become a ‘wine influencer’ as you say, but I guess the combination of hard work creating relevant content with a long hands-on practice learning and experiencing deeply the world of wine brought me much credibility and attention.
Malcolm Gladwell’s theory says that you need at least 10,000 hours of practice before you can hope to achieve some sort of mastery in a field or craft. I had studied hard and worked in vineyard and wine for nearly 15 years before I came out on social media and launched my own website. I guess this and my deep passion transpired positively in my sharing.
IlNomadediVino: Yours is one of the most complete wine blog as it talk about wine in all its undertone. Could you explain what message you pass down through your blog?
Julien Miquel: Thanks ☺
There is no ‘one single’ message in wine. It’s a very complex product as we know, both from a sensory perspective as well as considering how it’s made involving humans, soil, plants, yeast, bacteria, etc.
So Social Vignerons doesn’t take one single angle to wine. I do wine education articles (such as Top 7 Facts about Sulphites in Wine or Calories in Wine) as well as informative and/or fun infographics, interviews with wine people, producer profiles, wine reviews, social media and wine marketing content, travel, and a few other things.
But the common ground to the content is the sharing and learning, always with the approach that wine is a product made for fun and simple enjoyment, and it should not be treated in a complicated manner. I am a scientific and have learnt that the world is not this complicated if you break the knowledge down to smaller pieces.
— Julien Miquel #Wine (@JMiquelWine) May 11, 2017
IlNomadediVino: How much are social network essential in the world of wine and how much does this world must change to move with the times?
Julien Miquel: I often say that it is like social media was made for the world of wine.
Each consumer has its own individual expectations from wine, on the matter of taste, style, origin, story and much else. So, as a market, the demand is made of niches.
The offer (the production) is also very diverse and fragmented with tens of thousands of wineries all around the world, each with their unique approach, location, history, etc.
What social media now allows, is for each producer to find the wine drinkers their wine resonates with. It also enables curious-enough consumers to find the product that satisfies their every need.
Put more simply, social media makes the millions of wine lovers to ‘meet’, share, exchange/engage with the producers. While most of us don’t really care where our car or washing machine comes from, we love to know where our food or wine was grown, and how much passion and skill was put into making it delicious!
So social networks are essential to the world of wine simply because they are its future, just like technology is the future of human kind, like it or not!
IlNomadediVino: Could you tell us which wine experience has given you more emotions? I am not talking about a specific degustation only, but experiences on the ground, like the one you lived as a winemaker during harvest or a unique encounter that left you a good taste and a long persistence.
Julien Miquel: I remember warmly each and every experience I’ve had, even though I’ve worked in more than 15 wineries across 7 countries. That’s what I love about the wine industry, particularly around the production side of it: its people are generous and love to share human encounters.
But the most amazing probably, was the time I spent working at Chateau Margaux in the Bordeaux region. It is such an amazing place, from its architecture, the vineyards, the History, and of course the wine itself. Going to work there every day I had to pinch myself while entering this temple of good wine. As I was just a very young winemaker back then (vintage 2003), I also learnt a lot from master winemakers. This experience gave me the basis and the will for trying to become more than a mediocre winemaker.
IlNomadediVino: Finally, where are you now and which are your future project (if you can tell them)?
Julien Miquel: After more than 6 years living in New Zealand wine country, I relocated back to France at the beginning of 2016. I now live in Roussillon on the Mediterranean coast by the Spanish border. A nice sunny wine spot.
My future projects are ‘more of the same’: more learning and more sharing about wine.
Practically I am always in search for new ways to share the experience and passion for wine. The digital world is a great place for that as it is constantly evolving and offering new ways of communicating.
In the short term, I am also in search of ways to make my creation activity sustainable, and I love to collaborate with friendly and innovative wine producers, exploring synergies.
I consult wineries or wine-related organisations (such as the Languedoc wine bureau) to help them develop their digital presence and strategy, including on social media.
So thanks Julien, it has been a pleasure to know your thoughts about wine and this world and to share your words with our followers!
Hope to meet you sometime, maybe in a vineyard…and talk about wine, of course!