Kristin Bernard


Written by Suzanne Conway
Photos by Côtes de Femme 

Meet Kristin and Andy Bernard, local vintners, and owners of Côtes de Femme Wines 

SC: When did your love affair with wine begin? 

KB: It started with ordering wine on dinner dates. When we were in our early twenties, we would go out and I would order a beautiful glass of wine which lit up the table. Andy would order a soft drink which did not possess the same glamour. So, he decided to learn about wine in order to “be a better date.” As the years passed and we had young children, we would put them to bed and have date night at home. We would pick a wine from the book, decide on a food pairing, then cook and enjoy the wine and meal together. It became a way for us to learn about and visit other parts of the world, without ever leaving home. 

SC: Then, how did it go from a hobby into an actual business? 

KB: I began researching the wine business and realized all the different people and components that go into winemaking. Four years ago, I went to Andy and said, “It’s time! I want to start my wine business and I want to start with French Rosé. He was completely supportive, but said, “We can kill fake plants – how can we grow grapes?” I explained to him what I had learned. We would be creating a brand, and many other people would play roles in the actual production of the wine. I had decided that I wanted my rosé to be from Côtes de Provence and I wanted a beautiful bottle that would stand out on the shelf. Then we named our brand, Côtes de Femme, or “sides of woman,” to encapsulate the complexities of the female creature. I wanted the brand to represent all women, regardless of shape, size, age or skin tone. We found a Russian artist, Elena Naumchenkova, to create the line art for the logo. Using line art was important because we wanted the image to appear as if it were any woman – so that every woman could look at it and see herself. 

SC: The bottles are stunning! How did you get the idea for the sparkly bracelet on the neck? 

AB: We were playing around with the idea of embellishing the bottles with glitzy jewelry or something, when I said, “I would hate for someone to just throw away a beautiful bottle. What if we created a beautiful gift that could be removed from the bottle and kept by the customer?” Next, I created the idea of our removable signature sparkling wine bracelet. I now have a patent on the design. 

SC: What’s next? 

KB: We recently added a gorgeously drinkable Cabernet Sauvignon that is produced in Alexander Valley, and we will soon be adding a true Champagne from Cernay- les-Reims, France. 

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