It is said that food has the flavours of its scents. What about the tastes of shapes and colours? Can we illustrate a wine and its qualities with a visual composition and vice versa? Can we imagine a painting from the tasting of a wine? And imagine a wine from the contemplation of a canvas?
These were some of the questions that came up in Victor Mercadier’s mind as he went about developing his collection, ‘Passerelle des Arts’, based on visual impressions that are gastronomic and, in particular, dedicated to wines.
This is how the concept of Vinpressionniste, which expresses the organoleptic qualities of the wine visually, was born. Being the fourth-generation owner of the family estate in Languedoc (Domaine De La Canague Vieille), for Victor the world of wine was very much part of his DNA and an integral part of his life from a young age.
This fueled his passion and eventually led to it becoming his profession. In 2019, Victor created his company representing partner wine growers and then made Vinpressionniste commercial, to make a mark in such diverse markets as Japan, South Korea and Taiwan.
This then is the Vinpressionniste challenge: each wine and each work of art is selected and associated in the search for a harmony of colours, flavours and emotional transmission on the organoleptic, gustatory, olfactory and visual levels.
“In the Vinpressionniste collection, we illustrate the gastronomic impressionism dedicated to wine, by pictorial impressionism. Tasting with the eyes and contemplating with the taste buds involves a fusion of the senses. The organoleptic profile of each wine must be felt in what the painting visually expresses,” Victor explains.
Concept to execution
The concept and the Vinpressionniste brand are a creative synthesis of Victor’s journey of more than 10 years in the world of wine, in France and abroad. “When I worked as a wine merchant in Paris, we assigned colour codes to wines: a green dot for white, and brown for red. That inspired me to push the principle further with complex visual compositions,” he recalls.
Victor pushed the principle further with complex visual compositions (major works of Impressionist artists) to illustrate wine profiles according to vision and taste. “A woman with a parasol turned to the right over a flowering field illustrates an aromatic and floral Viognier,” he points out.
He then developed a method of product creation to make his first collection, ‘Passerelle des Arts’. “I take my audience on a journey, from the Impressionists of painting to the gastronomic impressionism dedicated to wine,” says Victor, “I start from my interpretation of a painting to then finding the wine profile that corresponds to what I felt. But the reverse also happens!”
From the idea to the first bottled collection of ‘Passerelle des Arts’, it took Victor more than a year. “I started to market my first collection in May 2021, in a very complicated post-pandemic context. Despite the challenges, I succeeded in launching it in France and several export markets in Asia and Europe,” Victor says.
Victor has a particular attraction for Asia, after working in Europe and the United States. He was in India for ProWine 2022 (Mumbai) and was one of the speakers who addressed a full house.
Victor says that he likes combining “the useful with the pleasant” (French expression). “Having long been fascinated by the depth and antiquity of Indian culture and heritage, it is very important for me to immerse myself in this world in its own right,” he says.
“For me, there was a personal philosophical dimension to this trip, because India is the source of many philosophical and religious currents throughout the world and particularly in Asia,” he adds. And then, he hopes that the inspiration will come for a collection inspired by Indian art!