Women Who Inspire
Wine Producer Sofie Grand
On a sunny May day, we had the privilege of sitting down with Sofie Grand, the young entrepreneur behind a small wine company in the Southern part of Denmark, to learn more about her inspiring journey.
Your family has always produced wine - tell us a bit about it. "It all started with my Grandparents' homemade wine recipe. They initially made wine for themselves and not for commercial purposes. When hosting my grandfather’s 40th birthday, money was short, so they had to catch the fish and dig up the potatoes themselves. Everything was homemade and well done. The wine was also too expensive, so they decided to make it themselves. Their first attempt at winemaking didn't turn out well, so they had to borrow wine from the neighbour. In order to pay the neighbour back they had to produce some better-tasting wine."
And how did you then enter the wine business? "I founded Grands Vin (‘Grand’s Wine’) while studying medicine in Aarhus. Initially, I faced numerous challenges with wine production. I had prepared 1,000 litters, which would yield 1,250 bottles to be delivered by April 1st. Unfortunately, I discovered in January that the wine was undrinkable. I called my mom in a panic and asked, “What should I do? I've spent all my money.” She promptly came to my aid, driving to Aarhus to help me. That's how it all began, and now we've relocated the production to my mom's childhood home in southern Fyn."
Working with her mother, Helle, in a family business has been both a blessing and a challenge for Sofie. Working close together has given them way more time together, but they have also had to navigate the complexities of familial dynamics and establish their roles within the company. Today they have a successful production from which they can both make a living.
How do you produce your wines? "Our wine is made from Danish berries -gooseberries and blackcurrant. Our production process is similar to traditional winemaking. Since we have a small production, we can work throughout the year. We collaborate with Danish farmers who produce organic berries. When we receive the berries, we freeze them to extract more sugars. During fermentation, we keep the skin on to extract flavour and power, as well as utilize the natural yeast cells from the skin. After pressing the berries, we remove the skin to avoid bitterness. The juice is then stored in large steel tanks until it becomes clear, indicating that the wine is ready."
Their standout wines, the gooseberry wine and the rosé made from blackcurrants, challenge normal conceptions about fruit wines. The gooseberry wine offers a refined and tangy flavour with pronounced gooseberry notes. The rosé is a delightful and fruity option for casual gatherings. Both have a very "winey" tasty and are not at all sweet. The reception of their wines has been overwhelmingly positive, and Sofie's advice to aspiring women and young girls is simple yet profound: "Just do it." Her fearlessness and determination have made her dreams a reality, inspiring others to pursue their passions.
What does the future hold for Grands Vin? "We are working hard on some bubbles. It’s still in the testing phase, but hopefully, we'll be able to launch it at some point."
So, whether you're a wine connoisseur or an adventurous soul seeking new flavours, raise a glass to this inspiring woman and her wine adventure.