By Francesca Hansen
on Feb 10, 2021
in Story Behind the Label

Story Behind The Label: Les Athlètes du Vin

With its distinctive “sporty” labels, Les Athlètes du Vin has developed a steady following around the world. The wines are made by a coalition of winemaker friends in the Loire Valley known as ‘Vini Be Good,’ founded by Fabrice Gendrot and managed today by Fabrice and Francis del Tedesco. We asked Francis to give us the inside scoop on the story behind the “Wine Athletes” labels:


“I was at the office with Fabrice and we were searching for a name for this new line of wines. Just outside the window, there is a gym across from our office and Fabrice suddenly thought of the name ‘Les Athlètes du Vin.’ So we took that idea and ran with it, thinking that making wine is a kind of sport (and of course distributing it is one, too!) Drinking wine is also a sport, as you have to lift your elbow – a very high-level intensity of physical activity, you know… basically we joked around so much with this idea, and because of that, we knew that the name was good.

We had met the artist Michel Tolmer at various wine fairs, and also knew him because he designed the labels for Pierre Breton. As we liked the style of his drawings, we explained the spirit of the Athlètes du Vin wines and asked him to collaborate with us. 

For the first label (Sauvignon), we gave him ‘carte blanche,’ and we loved that he drew someone jumping rope – which is not technically a sport, but there was a certain irony that lifting your elbow to drink a glass of wine is not exactly a sport either! For the other labels, we asked each of the winemakers if they had a favorite sport of their own. For example, the producer of the Menetou-Salon flies airplanes, so we chose that theme for him.”

Voilà l’histoire des Athlètes du Vin / Voilà the story behind the Athletes of Wine.