At Cépaé, we are all about emotions...
Emotions of men and women working their vineyards year-round to craft a wine they are passionate about.
Emotions of wine tasters enjoying a glass, bringing back flavors of a unique moment of their life, flavors of a travel, or providing new unknown sensations.
We have founded Cépaé to convey these emotions to you directly, bypassing the traditional layers of middlemen, to represent winemakers directly; for the most part, small winemakers who would not have dreamt of even reaching the US shores.
Why would a NY or CA importer perceive a toll for the wine you enjoy in WA (pro tip: always check on the back of your bottle who the importer is and favor local ones)?
Why would your retailer buy from distributors vs. sourcing the wines themselves to bring them to their store?
In accordance with the laws of Washington State, the wines we offer are imported and distributed by our sister company, H wines.
Through this structure, we offer a selection of wines at a much more competitive price to quality ratio than other outlets, who make you pay for the middlemen.
Think of Cépaé as the most direct way to get wine, the best alternative to be in the actual winemaker's tasting room.
We select our winemakers according to very stringent criteria:
- Terroir driven: the Terroir is the single most important component of a wine, and the hardest to define. Our winemakers deliver wines that are rooted in their soil, their region, their climate, their tradition...
- Authenticity: wine making is an ever evolving craft, but our winemakers respect the generations of winemakers who perfected the craft before them; we are not interested in sorcerer's apprentice trying to get "wine" out of chemical additives. The taste of the wine is first and foremost defined by the grape and farming practices.
- Personal relationships: we have a personal connection to the winemaker, whether it is directly or through a friend - no more than two degrees of separation between our team and the winemaker.
We have 2 labels in our collection:
- Wines from "Bernard Magrez Vignobles". Bernard Magrez is a world renown winemaker, owner of more than 40 wineries all over the world. We are humbled to represent Bernard Magrez Vignobles exclusively for WA State.
- “Les vins de mes amis”, those are the wines that our friends and family put on the table when we visit... Up and coming winemakers, rarely imported in the US, who represent a great value in their terroir.
Born and raised in France, Julien Hervet moved to the US to get his MBA at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He then worked in the technology industry for many years in California, then in Washington State.
In 2014, tired by the lack of selection and interesting wine offering on the retailers shelves, Julien realized that the laws of Washington State enabled under specific circumstances to consolidate the Three Tier System, thanks to the approval of Initiative 1183 by Washington State voters. What started as a hobby through H wines (import-distribution) then J wines (online retail) has now grown into a full time entrepreneurial venture, consisting in:
1. sourcing crafted authentic wine in several regions of the world
2. Distributing wines to a select portfolio of restaurants in the Puget Sound Area
3. Offering wines to consumers directly through www.cepae.com and Cepae's Tasting Room