Sébastien Higonet combined his passion for sailing with his passion for wine to create the concept of the oeno-cruise, whereby you set off to sea or on the Der Lake with a glass in hand.
What was your career before creating Vinotilus in 2012?
“I began my career by starting a business importing French wine and champagne in Prague. But I very quickly had to change to another sector of activity because of the exorbitant rise in customs charges, so I switched to importing women’s lingerie from France, still in the Czech capital. I returned to France in 2000 to sell the produce of Ardèche winemakers in Western Europe. I left that set up in 2011 to create Vinotilus.”
How did you come up with this original concept of “oeno-cruising”?
“I simply wanted to combine my two passions for wine and sailing. I like telling people that I first began to practice sailing in the basins of the Luxembourg Gardens in Paris, from the age of 5 or 6! In 2011 I got my instructorship for cruise-sailing. As for wine, I was already a member of the oenology club at Bordeaux University, where I was studying business. I became a registered travel agent in 2012.”
What are the different options available with Vinotilus?
“I organise cruises on the sea and on Der Lake. On the Der, I run sailing and wine days on a small sailing dinghy, a catamaran or a liveaboard. Tastings take place on board or on land, depending on the type of boat and the weather. I also offer options that combine cruising with a tour of the wine region, cultural outings and sports. I also run bird watching, sailing and wine trips. Tours can be given in English, German, Czech, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese or Russian. I can take a whole bus on the Der by putting 15 or so boats on the water. The champagnes come from a dozen winemakers in the Marne. The season runs from the end of March to mid-October, apart from the bird-watching trips which run all year.”
Practices informations :
Tél. : +33 (0)3 26 57 60 37
Port : +33 (0)6 59 78 55 70