The Philosophy

CLE DES VIGNES i.e. “Key to the Vines” is providing geo-sensorial wine education in Champagne and Loire Valley France’s wine regions.

In our itinerant wine school, you will experience and master an intuitive approach to wine tasting. Simple and sincere, this path through freedom of tasting is complementary to the traditional analytical approach that focuses on evaluating, comparing, and judging a wine.

Inspired by the TAO TE CHING, our wine education philosophy is based on 5 dimensions : DISCOVERING, LEARNING, EXPERIENCING,  SHARING, ENJOYING.

DISCOVERING - Great wines come from exceptional pieces of land—terroirs—and are produced by wise vintners. We bring participants into wine properties that are not open to public or confidential and that offer a different vision of wine production. This different viticulture is fundamentally authentic because it is close to mother nature and the local culture.

LEARNING – If a vintner can have this capacity to reveal terroir, bring to life its personality while elaborating a wine, this wine has the same capacity to reveal ourselves. Analytical wine education can be a part of your learning process. If so, keep it in mind but in order to go deeper. Like in every language, in order to understand wine it is useful to master a little grammar that is why the journey starts with some basics of taste physiology. Yet, you don’t need to spend years studding grammar to enjoy poetry. So it is for wine.

We don’t teach taste, we teach how to feel wine and be affected by wine in a positive way. No one can taste in your place  because your feelings with regard to particular wine are different from everyone else’s—they are unique. Our main objective is to help you find your “gustative heart” at the end of this educational experience.

As said in Tao, 1:

A mind free of thought

Merged within itself

Beholds the essence of tao

A mind filled with thoughts

Identified with its own perceptions

Beholds the mere forms of this world


EXPERIENCING - Experience is a learning tool thanks to which we can be able to discover ourselves. Original and unexpected, our set of animations will wake up your senses and develop your capacity to feel and be affected. What harmonic correspondence is there between a trout Colbert with essence of truffles, a vintage Champagne and a Wagner aria? How can we go beyond the stage of pure tasting and into a larger vibrating dimension?

SHARING - For our vintners, wine is a child of nature and therefore every bottle holds the essence of its mother terroir. Wine tasting is a triangular conversation between a vintner, a terroir and a wine lover. To make this conversation resolutely authentic, we organize it in presence of the wine producer and on the wine’s site, in the very heart of the vineyard.

Because conviviality is intensely sought by wine lovers, sharing is essential in wine experience. Thus sharing is  essential among guests, between a sommelier and its client, between a vintner and its importer, between an importer and its distributor and so on. But sharing provides more. In the global wine industry, it is crucial to be different from others. Sharing true emotions around a product such as wine provides such a difference.  That is why the sharing process is so important in the educational journey of our participants.

As said in Tao, 27:

Only a student who gives himself

Can receive the master’s gift (…)

Giving and receiving are one

This is called

“The great wonder

The essential mystery

The very heart of all that is true”

ENJOYING – Underlying our approach, is the quest of emotion, pleasure and happiness in life, called “chang sheng.” This pleasure is sought in one’s gustative heart and because pleasure is both individual and collective it is shared with others in a true relationship, be it professional or intimate.