Swapping south west London for the south of France

Swapping south west London for the south of France

Jeany Cronk shares what it was like to relocate to France to create a new wine brand

Back in 2009, Jeany and Stephen Cronk decided it was time for a change for their family. Packing up their newly renovated south west London home and quitting their jobs, the couple headed for the south of France, in the heart of Provence, to pursue their passion for rosé. And so Mirabeau was born, which has become one of our most popular summer wines.

So where did the inspiration come from to start Mirabeau? “It really came from our own love for Provence Rosé,” says Jeany. “We always celebrated our important occasions with a bottle of the pale pink from the south of France. We just innately believed this was the wine that more people needed to discover, so set about making that happen.”

Her husband Stephen had previously worked in the wine industry and for years the couple had dreamed of starting their own brand.

It has been a phenomenal success, and they have now expanded by launching their own gin brand, too.

But the journey has thrown up its challenges: “Starting from scratch back then was a really tough experience. You are unknown, alone, and you need to establish your credentials versus people who have done this for decades. The post-covid world has also thrown many unexpected things at us, like not being sure whether we can buy bottles or cartons. We feel like our resilience has been really put to the test in the last few years, but we have been quite good at adapting to these constantly shapeshifting business conditions.”

Domaine Mirabeau reflects Jeany and Stephen’s way of embracing sustainable farming practices that respect and preserve the surrounding ecosystem, with the estate moving towards regenerative farming.

Jeany said: “We take sustainability seriously and are trying to effect change within our own business and encourage those around us. That’s why we are proud to be a certified B Corp, and we have established regenerative practices on our own wine farm. We talk to our other grower partners about their approach to farming and are encouraging our people to think sustainability through every decision they make in the business.”

Mirabeau’s Pure Provence Rosé is inspired by carefree moments spent on the beautiful beaches of Côte d’Azur, and pairs perfectly with burrata, seafood and citrus desserts.

Where does Mirabeau rosé taste the best? Jeany says: “It would taste awesome in a great pub or restaurant near the water, so the Richmond riverside would of course be a great bet (and we are so delighted to be in Scott’s and Peggy Jean)! But honestly, it’s such a nice and versatile wine, it tastes great alongside any happy and sociable moment.”

Jeany also recommends pairing the tipple with a plate of juicy grilled jumbo prawns with chilli and lime mayonnaise.

So, what’s Jeany’s advice for any budding wine entrepreneur? “It’s really very important to start with the consumer and ask yourself ‘what are people drinking now and, in the future?’. Unless you can afford not to sell your wine, or you are just making it for fun, you need to produce a wine that ultimately people will find and love.”