Pont des Arts, translated, means 'bridge of arts' and that is exactly what founders Thibault Pontallier and Arthur de Villepin have sought to do with their exquisite range of liquor and spirits produced in collaboration with established artists such as Zao Wou-Ki and Yue Minjun. In an interview with the duo, we find out more about the origin of their partnership and their collaborative efforts with such big-name artists.
We met in Hong Kong 6 years ago, with both of us being passionate about art and wine. We wanted to share our roots and culture, and what France does best with the rest of the world. Our goal was to spread the word about what we deem to be very important in life: enjoying every moment and following our passions.
The idea of combining our two domains of expertise and passions came naturally since we both had the entrepreneurship spirit and both wanted to create something new, different, innovative which represents the lifestyle we believe in.
Pont des Arts is about bridging Art and wine, the East and the West, the new generation with the old generation, and to combine the two worlds of Art and wine, because they are not so different from each other. Making wine is an art as well, like an artist in front of his painting, we need the same time and patience to make sure we achieve the best result possible; it is also a work of passion.
Thus far, we have worked with some of the best and most famous artists, including Zao Wou-Ki, Yue Minjun and Miquel Barceló in collaboration with the most exceptional winemakers in France. Thibault’s father use to be the general manager and winemaker of Chateau Margaux for 33 years and he was very close to Thibault, so he advised us and tasted more than 700 parcels of wines with us, to make sure we were making the best wine possible.
With regards to the concept, it is not just a beautiful bottle with a label on it, it is beyond that. Each painting that you have on the bottle is a representation of the wine you have inside. We went to the artist’s atelier to choose the paintings with them and think about the best combination.
Our goal is to become an iconic brand in different countries, to be the best in Art and wine, to expand our range and to open different markets like the South American and North American market, as well as to produce Italian wines for and to expand our spirits range, for example. We want people from different countries and cultures to identify themselves in Pont des Arts and to share the same philosophy and lifestyle, no matter where they come from. To build bridges everywhere and become an international brand.
We don’t want to limit ourselves. The wine is the core of our brand and it was a logical choice to start with, because of Thibault’s background and knowledge. However, our goal is always to look for the best products, to search for rarity, and to discover new things.
The market is evolving very fast; the mentalities are changing, as are the tastes. The idea is to follow what we love and to try to satisfy the customer at the same time. So far, we have done Armagnac and Cognac, but we will happily follow with whisky or something else if there is an occasion.
People need to understand we are not a wine brand per se, but a luxury lifestyle brand. We have a certain way of looking at life, which translates to our wines and spirits. We want people to feel that with the Pont des Arts collection, and to travel with us through the Art and the wines. We respect tradition, but simultaneously have a modern approach, so we are willing to expand our projects. What we are selling is an experience, not merely a shelf product. We want to shape the market as they look at wines and spirits, and to grow a community that understands our values.
Zao Wou Ki was a very close friend of Arthur’s family. We love to see it as a project with heart and values. We started with Zao Wou-Ki because he was the perfect representation of our concept. Being French-Chinese, he embodies the bridge between two cultures the love wines and spirits. The challenge is to break the traditional wine market and impose ourselves with a new concept and new values – to break the barriers.
Thibault along with his father and other winemakers tasted over 700 parcels to make the right assemblage for each wine. Our wines are unique and with the Pont des Arts fingerprint; freshness, elegance, balance are the key words. Our concept is unique because we are the only brand to offer a Bordeaux alongside a Burgundy. Our goal is really to promote different regions and to educate people about wine and art.
We are currently in more than 22 countries, with Asia being the biggest market. However, we also opened in Switzerland, Spain, Canada, New Zealand in 2016 and we aim to target the US later on. We are also involved in different art fairs worldwide such as in Tokyo, Taipei and London.
If you're keen on getting your hands on one of these special bottles, get in touch with us at firstname.lastname@example.org!
Any views or opinions in the post are solely those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the views of the company or contributors.