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.