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Le Rêveur Wines – a dream come true

Gavin Monery, head winemaker at boutique urban winery London Cru, has launched his own wine brand, Le Rêveur Wines (the dreamer).

Gavin with his wife Jo purchased grapes in 2012 from parcels in Puligny-Montrachet and Gevrey-Chambertin to create their own label ‘Le Rêveur’. At the same time, Gavin began working on the London Cru project. Gavin designed and managed the construction of the boutique winery, sourced grapes from across Europe and completed the first vintage - all within 12 months. London Cru launched in November 2013. “Those 12 months bringing both projects to fruition, have been a blur,” he says.

“Le Rêveur is the result of a 12-year journey, having made wine with some of the best producers in the world. I have always loved the wines of Burgundy and in 2012, after working three vintages in the region, I was able to realise my dream; to buy top quality grapes and make a wine of my own.”

Gavin made the first wine vintages for Le Rêveur Wines at a friend’s winery in Burgundy – a 2012 Puligny-Montrachet (Chardonnay) and 2012 Gevery-Chambertin (Pinot Noir).

“We’ve done this all ourselves on a very small budget, says Gavin’s wife Jo. “We have just started to sell the 1,200 bottles both directly and soon through small independent retailers and a few restaurants.”

Brand design

“For the labelling and design we worked with Distil Studio to create a simple brand essence – ‘turning Dreams into Wine’.”

The French brand name and the dream cloud symbolises Gavin’s dream to create his own wines and having this fulfilled, after having worked as a wine maker for the last 12 years for notable wineries including JL Chave, Cullen and Moss Wood in Margaret River, Australia.

For the cloud graphic, they commissioned acclaimed illustrator Steven Bonner to create a classic motif that nods to the style of Burgundy, while still being quintessentially fresh and new. “This is our core brand mark and we will use this as a standalone illustration to drift across our wine labels, website and other packaging,” Jo explains.  

The wines are available direct through for £150 per case of 6 including duty and VAT (£25/bt). Delivery in London is £12 while the rest of the UK is £19.75. Also available under bond ex EHD Surrey. The case price will be £36.95 through retail outlets. They are currently working on exporting to the US and Australia.

About the winemaker

Gavin began his career in the wine industry as a cellar hand in Margaret River during the 2000 harvest, gradually working his way through the ranks to Cellar Supervisor. Part time Vit/Oeno studies at Curtin University allowed him to take on more of a winemaking role, however disillusionment with ‘commercial’ wines eventually led to a move to the biodynamic Cullen Wines in early 2004, where he helped craft some of Australia’s best Cabernet blends, along with top flight Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc/Semillon. Two years later Gavin took a sabbatical, touring the wine regions of the world, eventually returning to Margaret River in 2007 for a short stint at another iconic producer, Moss Wood. Keen to explore further he moved to London, joining Roberson Wine in 2008. Since landing in Europe he has completed three harvests in Burgundy (Alex Gambal, Remmoissenet & Chavy-Chouet) and one with the esteemed Jean-Louis Chave in the Rhône.

1 April 2014 - Felicity Murray The Drinks Report, editor