What happens when you combine a creative, adventurous spirit with an unbridled passion for wines of quality and character? For lovers of fine wines from France’s Rhône Valley, the answer is simple: Jean-Luc Colombo.
A devotee of the Syrah grape, he was convinced that the northern Rhône appellation of Cornas offered enormous potential for producing stellar quality Syrah. Following his conviction, he opened his own wine laboratory in Cornas and developed a thriving reputation as a wine consultant, breathing new life into the then-obscure wines of Cornas.
Shortly after, Colombo began purchasing his own vineyards first in Cornas then throughout the Rhône Valley and Languedoc– leading to the establishment in 1994 of Vins Jean-Luc Colombo. In 2003, Colombo enhanced his ventures by returning to his roots near Marseille and purchasing vineyards to produce the now highly-successful Cape Bleue Rosé.
In addition to running Vins Jean-Luc Colombo, Colombo continues his consulting practice, advising approximately 100 producers throughout the Rhône Valley, Switzerland and southern France. His wife, Anne, who is closely involved in the production of the Cornas wines, manages the consulting practice.
In 2010, Laure Colombo, Anne and Jean-Luc’s daughter, joined the family business. An avid world traveler, Laure studied viticulture in Bordeaux and also holds a Master’s degree in Oenology from Montpellier University. She now works alongside her parents and is already making a name for herself as one of the Rhône’s rising stars.
Each Jean-Luc Colombo wine is highly personalized, sourced from Colombo’s own vineyards and from carefully selected domains under his direct consultation. A unique, water color painting graces each label and illustrates both the name and the story behind each wine. With wines as vibrant and memorable as the family who makes them, Vins Jean-Luc Colombo has made a major impact on the evolution of modern French winemaking.
LES ABEILLES “THE BEES”
Les Abeilles “The Bees” is named for these mysterious creatures that inhabit the vineyards where this Côtes du Rhône is produced. Jean-Luc Colombo’s appreciation for the natural environment of living creatures creates an atmosphere in which insects, animals and grape vines co-exist and flourish. This can only be accomplished with sustainable vineyard practices where no harsh pesticides are used.
Honeybees pollinate more than 90% of flowering crops – including many of the fruit and food items we eat – so they play a vital role in our food supply. In many places around the world, however, bee colonies are in severe jeopardy. “Colony Collapse Disorder” is a mysterious 5-year-old crisis – and it’s worsening at an alarming rate! The cause is unknown, and it has currently spread to over half of the United States, with similar collapses reported in Brazil, Canada and parts of Europe.
To help fight this bee crisis, we have created the JLC “Bee Helpful” program, whereby a donation will be made to UC Davis Department of Entomology for Honey Bee Research. The UC Davis Department of Entomology is ranked No. 1 in the country by the Chronicle of Higher Education. They have several programs and studies dedicated to the bee crisis. For each consumer purchase of Les Abeilles, a percentage of the suggested retail price will go to research to save the bees with a pledged minimum donation of $10,000 per year.
Read more about 'The Bees' Program here.