Olivier Dauga

France, Bordeaux

Olivier Dauga

I tasted with Olivier Dauga a couple of times in the last few months. Genuine, generous of spirit, and humble, he is a breath of fresh air in the smoke and mirrors world of great and powerful wine consultants.

Consultant with a Conscience

“I come from seven generations of winemakers and owners,” he told me. “I worked a long time for Sociando Mallet, La Tour Carnet, and Rolland de By. Then, I created this société with Cathy (his partner) in 2000.”

Olivier does not just consult for Bordeaux wineries. He also works in the south of France, Provence, Côtes du Rhône, Champagne, and Australia.

“In Australia, the ethos is different,” he said. “You discover what the market is, and you make that wine. In France, it is the opposite. So here, we help people make the wine and also help them with marketing and commercial contacts so that they can know how to sell the wines. We help with labels and packaging and even with social media.”

Olivier’s holistic approach to consulting sets him apart.

“There are just two of us, Cathy and me, but we work with lots of other complementary businesses. We do buyers-own-brands for Mono Prix in France, mostly organic products. Young consumers want to dream, feel secure, and have fun. Bordeaux wines can be too serious and old-fashioned. I make wine, but it is most important for me to protect the environment. A lot of people only make organic wine for marketing. This should be the last consideration. Ten years ago, I wrote a green charter, and I have just written a new one with Romain Leycuras.”

Olivier and Romain’s The Charter of Common Sense goes beyond championing organic and biodynamic principles, encouraging biodiversity and agroforestry, and introducing “four-legged farm friends” into vineyards. Recycling is essential, but it is even wiser to reduce consumption. “The best waste is the one that is never produced.”

“We don’t have a lot of clients,” Olivier smiles as he presents his small collection of wines for me to taste. “My clients are friends, and I don’t work with them for money alone.”

Here is a recommended collection of affordable Bordeaux wines with bags of personality and a conscience to boot. 

Article & Reviews by Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW
Photography by Johan Berglund