Connect with us

Thai Life

Phuket lifestyle: The art of life



PHUKET: A Frenchman who enjoys wine and rugby is nothing unusual, but a former international player launching his own award winning wines on Phuket is certainly worth our attention.

Gérard Bertrand was born into wine and rugby and has excelled at both. Capped twice for France against Italy and Russia as a strapping loose forward, he also led the Paris-based Stade Français team in the 1993-1994 season and played for Narbonne, the French commune in which he was raised as a child for several years.

Gérard’s family were vintners in the Corbières region of Southern France, which also happens to be the heart of the country’s rugby and he explains how his love of rugby has determined his ideas on wine.

“Rugby has influenced my wine philosophy through the senses of celebration and sharing, as well as the team spirit,” Gérard said.

“There is a real synergy between rugby and wine, especially in the South of France because the values are very close, especially the conviviality, art of life and social ties,” he added.

His rugby heroes? Jean Pierre Rives, a fellow loose forward and the legendary Serge Blanco, arguably the best fullback to play the game who played 93 times for France.

But how does a rugby player make the transition from the bottom of a scrum and crunching tackles, to the delicate art of winemaking?

“For me wine was not a change of profession as I was raised in this world next to my father, with whom I made my first harvest at the age of 10. Besides, my father told me that year, ‘You are lucky. At 60 years old you will have 50 years of experience’,” he recalls.

Gérard has grown his wine business into six wine estates totalling 880 acres of vines on about 2,000 acres of land that range from the Mediterranean Sea to hills high up in the Pyrenees Mountains bordering France and Spain.

Fresh from winning the 2011 European Winery of the Year awarded by the prestigious Wine Enthusiast Magazine, Gérard is bringing his experience to Phuket with a range of white and red wines. Thailand, along with other Asian countries such as Japan and China, is part of a Gérard Bertrand Wines roll out across the region.

Gérard is also famous for his annual jazz festivals at his Château l’Hospitalet winery, a hospitality and tourism complex that combines a hotel, restaurant, lounge, wine tasting cellar, art house and business convention center, into one.

In keeping with the jazz theme, Gérard Bertrand Wines recently celebrated their arrival on Phuket at Bliss Beach Club with a live jazz performance by The Jazz Friends from Bangkok’s Oriental Hotel. Mediterranean cuisine, and, of course, a selection of wines from Gérard’s collection has helped ensure Phuket’s own relationship with wine and rugby will long continue.

— Alastair Carthew


Get more from The Thaiger

Join the conversation and have your say on Thailand news published on The Thaiger.

Thaiger Talk is our new Thaiger Community where you can join the discussion on everything happening in Thailand right now.

Please note that articles are not posted to the forum instantly and can take up to 20 min before being visible. Click for more information and the Thaiger Talk Guidelines.

Archiving articles from the Phuket Gazette circa 1998 - 2017. View the Phuket Gazette online archive and Digital Gazette PDF Prints.

Follow Thaiger by email:

Thailand11 hours ago

Thailand News Today | Opposition to extending nightlife to 4am

Crime11 hours ago

Police officer who shot noodle vender sentenced to 25 years

Road deaths11 hours ago

Truck overturns in NE Thailand, driver dies, losing 1.5 million baht of beer

Sponsored2 days ago

British International School, Phuket: Reflecting on 25 years of world-class education

Transport11 hours ago

Thailand Transport Ministry seeks foreign loans for new bridges

Central Thailand12 hours ago

Elephant calf stamped to death in central Thailand

Chon Buri12 hours ago

Mountain B Pub’s real owner surrenders while police guard venue

Join the conversation on the Thaiger Talk forums today!
Road deaths12 hours ago

Motorcycle rider killed in multi-vehicle pile-up near Bangkok

Crime12 hours ago

Hong Kong man goes to Thailand to meet ‘lover,’ gets trafficked to Myanmar

Thailand13 hours ago

A monk dies in yet another day of Buddhist shame in Thailand

Economy13 hours ago

Electricity prices soar 18% to 4.72 baht per unit next month

Best of13 hours ago

Top 5 Boarding Schools in Thailand (2022)

Crime13 hours ago

Four national park officials indicted over Karen activist’s murder in western Thailand

Thailand14 hours ago

100 Consecutive Days of food handouts to the homeless of Bangkok

Protests14 hours ago

Nearly 1,000 locals protest over fatal road in central Thailand

Insurgency15 hours ago

Landmines kill 1, injure 10 in Deep South of Thailand

Thailand11 months ago

Morning Top Stories Thailand | Police to end protests, Human Trafficking | September 14

Thailand1 year ago

Thailand News Today | Thai Airways in rehab, All go for Songkran | March 4

Tourism1 year ago

Phuket’s nightlife. Yes, bars and clubs are still open | VIDEO

Phuket1 year ago

Thailand News Today | Covid passport talks, Thai Airways heads to court | March 2

Tourism1 year ago

Phuket Thai food treats you need to try | VIDEO

Thailand1 year ago

Thailand News Today | Bars, pubs and restaurants ‘sort of’ back to normal | Feb 23

Tourism1 year ago

In search of Cat & Dog Cafés in Phuket Town | VIDEO

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Gambling crackdown, Seafood market to reopen, Vlogger challenge | Jan 21

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Covid testing for visas, Business impact, Vaccine approval | January 19

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Weekend Bangkok bombs, Thailand fires, Covid update | January 18

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Stray car on runway, Indonesian quake, 300 baht tourist fee | January 15

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Governor off respirator, sex-trafficking arrest, condo prices falling | January 14

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Chinese vaccine, Thailand ‘drug hub’, Covid update | January 13

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Bangkok may ease restrictions, Phuket bar curfew, Vaccine roll out | January 12

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Covid latest, Cockfights closed down, Bryde’s Whale beached | January 11