When travel and meeting wine customers are similar

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Theys stands behind the counter of his wine store. Meeting and appreciating others is the closest he can be to reality he said.

SAINT-PAUL DE VENCE, France — Inlaid among the narrow streets of this foothills town is a world traveler who owns a wine shop. Frédéric Theys’ interest in his customers and where they come from relates to his passion for travel, as well as plans to make a pilgrim voyage to Japan.

“From the wine to the divine,” he said.

Having worked in the industry for over 21 years, Theys said what’s needed for the job is the “capacity for a very good palette.”

He moved to Saint-Paul de Vence six years ago, after falling in love with the city, and opened Le Petit-Cave de Saint-Paul. Several years later, he completed a tour of the world: 28 countries in 28 months.

Now he is preparing for a pilgrim voyage across Japan, visiting temples along the path. While he expects it to be a spiritual experience he said interacting with customers is similar. Travel is his passion; he is close to it by being exposed to diverse cultures.

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Santiago holds the bottle of wine be chose for his mother in Le Petit-Cave de Saint-Paul


College student Cameron Santiago, who traveled from Florida with his grandparents, spent the morning in Saint-Paul de Vence. He consulted Theys in order to find a bottle of wine for his mother.

Santiago said Saint-Paul de Vence is an authentic village unlike anything he had seen before. “I can see that the people don’t value narcissim,” he said. “They value taste.”

How has travel changed the way you feel about meeting people from different cultures? 

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