Clara, founder of SIPS, caught up with a friend of SIPS, Clovis Ochin, to talk all about his new vintage, filming his new series with Action Bronson and his philosophies on life. Clovis is best known for his love of natural wine as well as rapping and eating his way around Paris with Action Bronson on the youtube series sensation, "f*ck that’s delicious". Clovis has made his own wines in Bonastre, Tarragona for the past three years and his years of learning alongside some of the all time best winemakers around is what makes his energetic wines so much more than hype.
Clovis: Clara. How are you? I'm tasting right now as you call me, the bobal. I'm right in front of my damejeanne.
Clara: Oh, nice. Amazing. I'm great.
Clovis: And you know how happy I am to do Bobal because 2022, as you know, we lost everything. So it's very, how would you say it, emotional. The wine is fucking incredible and I'm very happy. It's like the Bobal is very happy that we can do it - the grapes are very happy that we can do wine together again. And tell me how are you my dear?
Clara: I'm excited, you know life is good and Germany is very good. We're involved in more culinary projects and brand collaborations with our sister company at the moment, SIPS studio. We work with some fashion brands, some architecture brands and lot's in between, it's nice. And in terms of the wine business, I think the market is pretty good here. We've started to put on a lot of dinners.
Clovis: Yeah, I can see it's working out actually because, you know, I really receive, like, every two, three days, I have somebody from Germany asking me about my wine and stuff like that. It seems that German people are really into natural wine. It's super cool.
Clara: Yeah, exactly. And I think they respond really well to it, particularly the way you do it, the way you combine the worlds of music and wine.
Clovis: I can see I got a lot of people talking about the mix of the music and wine and actually someone, a 21 year old German kid told me that when he watched the documentary, the movies I made and everything, it made him feel like he's there shooting with me in the episode and like he's living it too. And I think that's exactly what I wanted to do at one point, you know, just to share a lifestyle so that people can see that it can exist in a fun way, you know. I needed this challenge of the past two years to do everything alone again after leaving Yard. To rebuild myself, you know, so it was important for me to do that alone.
Clara: I can understand that. So now you can focus on your wine project in Spain, right?
Clovis: Exactly, you know what I mean? I'm focused on my wine and my music and I do exactly what I want and both are working out. I'm feeling good when I do music. I came back (to Spain) today from Paris and yesterday I was recording and making a big photo shooting. Today I'm alone with my wine and I'm very happy and this is my life, you know.
Clara: I love that.
Clovis: So what do you want me to do? You want me to do a little interview?
Clara: So I wrote some questions and then I would write a little article. And I'll definitely come to visit you in December, that sounds amazing actually.
Clovis: I would love that. After two years of working together for you to see the land, you know it's important.
Clara: So yeah, maybe I'll ask you the first question about your project in Spain. Can you share the story behind the project and what made you go for Spain and what the region means to you?
Clovis: So when I sold Yard and left Culinaries, I decided to go to Spain for a few reasons. Like you know me a little bit, even when we were in Germany together, I chase the sun like it's the most important thing in my life. So really it's because of the sun, I think that every human that can see the sun for a little moment in the day knows it's extremely positive for us. I wanted to be in a place that is not known by everyone, where there is still a challenge. If I would have gone to Burgundy or any other place, it would have been too easy for me, it's certain. I want people to understand that Spain for me is like the new El Dorado of wine. Because there are incredible things to grow, incredible terroir. But most of the people here are just the same way as in France, they don't even realize the quality of things that they have. And even in Spain, I have a story to tell about wine. We're not only going to speak about Rioja, you know, or the wine that comes with Appalachia. When I decided to come here for me there was no challenge because I found so many beautiful grapes, I found so much beautiful soil, and I found so many beautiful people that are really passionate about what they do that I wanted to be a part of it.
And it's also really closely connected by the fact that 13 years ago I met Massimo (Partida Creus) and we created a brotherhood and a loving friendship. We worked together for many, many years. And when I had these issues with Culinaires with Yard, ending everything it was a complicated moment for me. Massimo would come to take me and tell me, bro, you have a real, real talent. He asked to show me a couple of places nearby, encouraging me to take some grapes there and do some wine because the world needs it. So it's really also inspired by Massimo.
Clara: Amazing. Of course, Massimo and Antonella from Partida de Creus inspired you. Are there any other Spanish winemakers who inspired your work in Spain?
Clovis: Manel (Clos Lentiscus), Eloi from Chateau Paquita. Emily Mutombo, she actually did the same thing as me, working with Massimo (Partida Creus) and going on to start her own wine project.
Clara: Emily Mutombo, I love her wines! Can you give me a little insight into the harvest this year? Like, how was the harvest and what about next years wines? Did you have a good year? Do you think the wine is going to be good?
Clovis: This year was an incredible harvest, because everybody was scared, because the grapes were very little and weren't growing so much. And then at one moment, in the last week of July across two weeks they had an incredible processing by themselves and they become so delicious. So, for harvest after thinking that I did not have grapes, I have the top of every year that I've made before.
Clara: So tell me about your wines from 2022 that we are releasing on SIPS Berlin this week?
Clovis: So, Ludo, the first one, with the orange on the label. Is a variety that is very, very rare. It's called Parellada Rosa. That is very different from Parellada. Parellada Rosa is a very little grape. They are white and just on the surface, they are pink, but the beauty feels like an incredible pink. And this is from a friend of Massimo and it's a 90 year old vineyard.
Rest in Peace Prodigy, it's a Parellada from 65 year old vines mixed with the pre-philoxera grenache that is 120 years old.
Sorry my dear, I'll come back to you in one second. I'm just going to serve myself a glass of wine.
Clara: No problem. What are you drinking?
Clovis: I'm drinking Grenchae, Pre-philoxera, bobal and Xarello all mixed together.
Clara: Your own?
Clovis: Yeah, it's crazy. You know, I co-fermented everything together and I did it in Damejane. I will send you a picture after. I've never seen a colour of wine like that. Wow. It's a bomb, really. We have a mix of white peach with orange and on the red parts we have strawberry. So it's really, really crazy. If you come in December, that's one of the things I want to bottle.
Finally from the 2022 releases we have the MIRA MIRA from 2022 which is 100% Grenache Prephylloxera. The wine is crispy as fuck.
Clara: So about the series you do with action Bronson "fuck that's delicious". How did this come about and why did you do this?
Clovis: It was just happening with the discussion of two friends. Action looked at me and said, what I'm living with you, what you let me discover and what you showed me, would be extremely selfish to keep to ourselves. You just have to see it to know that there is no acting or nothing, it's just friends that love to be together.
Clara: How do you choose where you go and what you drink? Is it just what you do in your day-to-day life?
Clovis: I'm only going to see friends. People that I know because I think that I have met so many people in my life and I will still meet more, but one thing that is very precious is to feel at home. So if I go to Spain I go to Gresca, I go to Bar Torpedo I go to Villa Mas, if I'm in France I go to The butcher, I go to Early June, I go to Chop Chop or Shop des Artist and you know, I go to see the same people. I'm not a Mono Maniac it's just that if you feel good with someone and every time you see them, you feel blessed by speaking with them, why would you go somewhere else, you know?
Life is short, I'm growing up, I'm going to be 42 years old in less than two months, and I just realised that I still have so much energy and I don't care about getting old. But I want to be active and I want to be dedicated to the people I love, and I think that if you dedicate time to the people you love, it's already a big, big work.
So I don't want to pretend that I take care of the world. I want to take care of 100 people, but really take care of these people. And I think that if you take care of 100 people in your life, then these people take care of 100, and not the wrong truth, and then finally you can realise something meaningful all together. Because my life is feeling, it's about pleasure, it's about who I am. The wine is my action, the music is my reflection. I'm like every human, but I'm unique in the way that I'm doing my thing. So whatever the price is, I want to continue to be free. I could have been a millionaire by today with Culinaries, with all the wine, with what I have done. I don't have money from that, but I have my freedom and I can go to any place in the world the next day if I feel like it.
I think that this is extremely important to be free. I never worked with a brand although many brands came to contact me to do things with the wine and offered to give me a big check and all that. But I never did anything because I'm not interested in that. I think that when you get too much money, when you get into that cycle, you don't even have time to reflect about what the goal of your life is. I prefer to be a man that has no million in the bank account, but has more than a million things to love about his life. I can drink wine that even if you are a billionaire you can't have. Last week I was with Dua Lipa all day eating and drinking stuff, that same night I went to the ghetto with friends smoking a spliff. I'm happy to connect with people and at the end of the day, I'm going to sleep happy with a big smile because I'm happy that people connect, you know?
Clara: That's a great skill, to connect with people. What would you say to somebody who's like a young person who wants to get started in the wine industry?
Clovis: First of all, be honest. And then, don't be scared to knock at people's door. There are two things. If you knock at the door of someone and you see the person is like what the fuck are you doing there and all that, then you know it's not right. They can say no to you and it's okay and it's a part of life. But often, if you come all the way from another country, you travel and you say, sorry, I just came and showed up like that it's another thing. If you are honest and you meet a wine maker or somebody else you want to learn from, they'll see it in your eyes. Most of the time the door will be very open and you are welcome, you know? It's just an attitude. Be true to yourself. Believe in everything and ignore those people that tell you, you will not succeed. When they tell you you won't succeed, use it. Part of being a human being is to fall on your face. If you fall, then take a fucking trampoline and and go two times higher than you than you went down. It's really important to believe at the end of the day. This is what I want to say, to really believe in yourself.
Clara: Inspirational. And if people are interested in trying natural wine, but they are at the beginning of their journey, how would you tell them to select their wine?
Clovis: Wine is very personal. I'm saying some wines touch the soul for you or don't touch the soul, but they should trust SIPS Berlin.
Clara: Amazing. I love it, it's perfect. Thank you, Clovis.
Clovis: If you are importing my wine and everything it's because I trust you and most of all I trust your selection.
Clara: Oh, thanks. You're super sweet.
Clovis: No, really. Like I told you, I'm not a millionaire but what I have is the choice, you know, so I can just work with anyone that I want and say no to everything, you know, and that's my luxury. That's the thing is to choose carefully which people you work with. So even you choose me and I choose you, you know, so it's a question of exchange. So never be ashamed or something to use my name if you need it or if you want to say something or if you post something and you want me to repost this is no problem.