In 2009, still a student in l’ENSAE Paristech (ENSAE Paris is known as the branch of École Polytechnique for statistics, data science and machine learning), I went for my first tests in vinegar. At the same time as I was working my first job, I created several vinegars that received encouragement and good reviews from my entourage. My desire to combine my two passions, gastronomy and winegrowing as well as my desire to go back and live in the South and do something “concrete” pushed me to change professions and devote myself exclusively to the production of vinegars.
Therefore in 2013, I embarked on the Granhota adventure: to restore honour to French vinegar, a condiment of gastronomic tradition. I benefited from a family know-how in winegrowing but the first in the family to make vinegar with wines from the region of Languedoc chosen for their aromatic and organoleptic properties, ideal for vinegar. I create quality vinegars without the addition of colouring, preservatives, or sulphite.
Then, from 2015, I started to produce mustard which allowed me to launch a range of mustards integrated in the continuity of our current know-how. Vinegar is a major ingredient in mustard, and I wanted to control the totality of the production by having my own seeds. In fact, 95% of the mustard seeds used come from Canada, China or India, while “*Brassica juncea*”, brown mustard, grows very well in our region.
We have thus integrated this crop into our production : the Mediterranean climate does not allow us to obtain high yields, but the strong aromatic power is there! We control almost every ingredient, which is rare, and with the help of my friend Laurent Mahot, a mustard maker who refines the products. His workshop is located in Saillagouse about two hours by car from my workshop. This is important to us because we wish to work entirely local. We help him transform his vinegar and in exchange he takes care of our mustard seeds. Laurent is a real mustard lover and is a true professional.
But by 2023, the idea is to manage 100% of the production directly from our base. From this brown mustard, which is stronger than yellow mustard which is more often used, we have created a range of mustard perfect for anyone’s tastes which you will find in your own personalised package.
Several years have now passed since I started producing Lucca olives, the region's star variety, in parallel with my vinegar production. We now use them to produce condiments based on olives and vinegars, such as our olives preserved in vinegar and our olive paste with balsamic vinegar. The expertise of our partner Julien Dallens enables him to enhance the flavour of our olives, using artisanal processes.
CrowdFarming is a platform with which we have been working ever since its inception, as we felt strongly about the idea it put forward. We personally believe that consumers should be able to enjoy easy access to artisanal, high-quality products. That's what CrowdFarming is all about. Since then, we have been working closely with CrowdFarming, and that has affected our organisation in several ways, starting with our stock management and our production rate.