The Story of a wine merchant family.

Florent Descombe's interview, by his daughter Marine


Marine : Can you tell us the begginning of the family story: Who started this adventure ?
Florent : My grand grand father, François.
He founded the company in 1905. The core business was wine transportation. Along the years, wines transportation has been put on the back-burner as selling wines grew in importance. And Beaujolais wines in Barrel, obviously.

Marine : Who were our customers at that time ?
Florent : Cafés and barsrestaurants and hotels, in the Beaujolais region, in the city of Lyon and Paris as well. Wines were shipped by boat on the Saône river. It started with Beaujolais wines, of course, and then Côtes du Rhône were added to the portfolio. Shortly after the war, a range of Table Wines were created to meet the customer's demand.

always having on mind the customers satisfaction

Marine : Today, most of our customers are private customers. How can you explain this ?
Florent : In the early 60's, television has changed the habits. People do not spend their evening at the café, drinking and talking, but home, facing the TV set. Very naturally, we have adapted our packaging and the cubitainers of 33 liters has replaced the barrels. Customers only had to bottle the wine themselves !

Marine : And how did you develop the customer loyalty ?
Florent : By always having on mind the customers satisfaction. In particular by developping the range of packaging: 75 cl bottles, BIB of 3 and 10 Liters. And developing also our range of wines, buying vineyards in Gaillac and Cotes du Frontonnais. And by developing a selective AOC wines trade. The range includes now over 150 positions in wines and spirits.

Marine : Vins Descombe will soon celebrate the 110 years anniversary. How do you explain this continued existence ?
Florent : We are always in a development logic  starting the Exports in a traditional way, selling to importers in Europe, Russia, Japan…. And the crazy idea of founding subsidiaries in countries such as China, Vietnam and Kyrgyzstan.  The complete renovation of our cellars and of the production equipment with a new bottling line and a bib bottling line are also part of projects for the future of this company. And you will be taking a part in it from now on !