Olivier Cousin Needs Your Help!

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Most winemakers don’t treat their vineyard like a treasured hand-tilled garden, or choose to work their land with horses.  Olivier Cousin does choose these ways, and for those reasons he doesn’t fit into the established order of French Winemaking. He, like many other natural winemakers, has decided not to work within the Appellation Origine Controlée system anymore – a system that has been broken for quite some time.  They instead choose the Vin de Table (Table Wine) classification. Inter Loire, the French government authority that oversees the appellation system, sees some of his labeling practices as a challenge to their authority.

A distributor of Olivier’s in Europe, in attempt to have a little fun, adorned some of his cases with “Appellation Olivier Cousin.” They were poking fun at the system, and at the same time making a statement that Olivier’s wines are entirely unique, and also more representative of the AOC Anjou than most AOC Anjou wines, since his wines are the expression of this unique place and terroir.

Inter Loire has responded to this joke with very a very serious reprimand. They have locked Olivier’s bank account, and are threatening him with jail time, for this heinous offense, and for using the words “Anjou pur Breton” on his label. For more details on the case, check out this decanter article. 

Please show your support for Olivier and sign the petition below, and it will be forwarded to the appropriate authorities in France. The box has been filled in with the French and English versions of a letter that is being passed along, but feel free to add your own thoughts about Olivier’s wines and his importance in the US marketplace.

Your comments on the petition and email address is kept confidential, however if you’d like them to be public, please leave them in the comments below!

Update: You can also help Olivier by buying a tee-shirt here. 

PLEASE NOTE: If you have already signed another petition, do not sign again here.


Olivier Cousin

Lettre au procureur


Nous, vignerons, journalistes, cavistes, importateurs, affirmons notre
soutien à Olivier Cousin.

Nous nous indignons qu’on l’accuse de nuire à son appellation.

Olivier Cousin incarne une des plus belles images angevines. Sa
médiatisation en est témoin. Ses pratiques culturales respectent son
terroir. Le vin qui en émane le traduit sans aucune interférence et propage
l’identité angevine dans le monde entier.

Mieux, Olivier Cousin est un des acteurs principaux du renouveau du vignoble
: il soutien activement et physiquement les jeunes installations.

Enfin, il est à l’origine de la révolution du cheval de trait dans toute la

Nous, vignerons, journalistes, cavistes, importateurs, apportons notre appui
solidaire à Olivier Cousin et dénonçons les persécutions dont il est

English version

We, winemakers, journalists, wine merchants, importers and consumers, affirm our support
for Olivier Cousin.

We are indignant that he is being accused of harming the name of his Appellation.

Olivier Cousin embodies one of the most beautiful images of the wines of the
Anjou. He is the best media coverage you could hope for. His methods
respect his terroir. The wine he produces propagates a good image of the
Loire Valley, and particularly the little-know Anjou AOC throughout the world.

In addition, Olivier Cousin is one of the main players in the revival of the
appellation: he actively supports and gives his physical energy to helping young winemakers starting new vineyards in Anjou.

Finally, it is Olivier who has lead the revolution of using horses in the
vines throughout the Loire Valley.

We, winemakers, journalists, wine merchants, and importers offer our support
and solidarity to Olivier Cousin and denounce the persecution he is


685 signatures

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Over 500 signatures!

JOAQUIN FIOL Brooklyn, New York
Carey Jebb Operations Manager
Gisela Graham Ltd
United Kingdom
Sally Jordan London, England
Rebecca Skinner Green & Blue Wines,
Suzanne Balsamo Owner
Partition Street Wine Shop
102 Partition Street
Saugerties, NY 1247
United States
Ryan Ibsen Ryan Ibsen
Wine Director
Pasanella and Son, Vintners
James Gardiner kitesurf instructor
Diving INstructor
Catamaran Captain
Ron Kyle dry dock wine + spirits, Brooklyn, NY, USA
Jo Forkish self-employed, California
Anthony Pangilinam Info Security, McLean VA
jacob Roszko
Costa Gavaris Wine Clerk, Libations Liquor Store, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
David Hayat Natural wine exporter in Asia
Sebastien Roche London work at Terroirs winebar
anais van manen Student / University / Singapore
Jennifer Groves Concerned consumer, United Kingdom.
Curtis Gould 5 Pineview
Dover, NH 03820
Gavin Searmon Journalist
Nicole Jennings Wine consumer.
Rachel Cruse Duncan, BC, Canada
Lawrence London Descended from French Huguenots, natural market farmer, permaculturist and 100% supporter of Oliver and all other small farmers and gardeners who are conscientious about their craft.
Jenny Burns Hotelier, General Manager, Philippines
Jacob Von Paumgartten Founder VPG Media, Stockist @ Big Tree Bottles, Editor -Grape Ape NYC Blog, also at Corkbuzz Wine Studio
Radostin Milkov consulting winemaker
Cecile Giannangeli President, CEO
Trevor Kellogg Student, Rochester NY
Lyndsay Praet Catering Manager, Terravita country Club, Scottsdale, Arizona, USA
Callie Porter-Borden
Anton Stepashchenko oenology specialist,Unicork-M Ltd.
Andrzej Goroch I am for Mr.Cousin, I have been working in the food and beverage industry for 18 years.The AOC as far as I know was set up to protect the integrity of classic grapes,regions, domains and methods for p
Ellen Kaye Wine Retail-New York
Zwann Grays Wine Rep, Fruit of the Vines
Leisah Swenson Brooklyn, NY, USA
Charles Gray consumer of great wines and Quality Control Coordinator, Cary, North Carolina, USA
Douglas Hillstrom Wine lover, USA
Richard Keeling Retired attorney, Charlottesville, Va., USA
William Poole professional cook, New Orleans
Edward Morrissette I am a wine consumer living in the US, and it is reprehensible for the AOC to act like this.
Basil Bourque développeur informatique, Edmonds, WA
Andrew Mumford student
Takashi Kamada
Sterling Whitted Wine Buyer/Aspiring Winemaker, Portland, Oregon
Gregg Greenbaum wine lover & buyer
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Emily McGoldrick student and consumer, server at No. 7 Restaurant, Fort Greene, Brooklyn, NY USA
David Duman Wine Importer, Distributor & Broker, Los Angeles, CA, USA
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Terroir Wine Merchant 1116 Folsom Street San Francisco California 94103
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Michael Farrell Dentist; Cubero Dental Associates, Albuquerque, NM USA
Kenan Forman Thehousedaddy.com
Washington dc
Joanna Wells Manager, Robert Sinskey Vineyards, Napa, California
Sarah Russo Law Student
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Petar Kirilov Founder of VinoEnology.com
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Joy Rosenstein New York NY grew up in France
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Cathy Wiese Writer, Charlottesville, VA
Nancy Lovelace Retired, Fort Collins, Colorado, United States
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Zev Rovine Buyer/Seller of wines
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Patricia McMurray Madison, WI
Sandi Keller Pitman, NJ 08096 USA
Munro Ferguson Filmmaker
Lacey Sugden
Amanda Elliott Chef,New York, New York
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Chelsea McDonald Kentucky, USA
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Dr Edward Carolan Immunologist(retired)
Brenton Engel Lula Cafe, Bartender, Chicago, IL
Jeffrey Hansen
Monique Roblin chef, california, USA
Martha M Hospitality, Nevada
Alex Kohse Wine Sales, Boston, MA
Marcie Brooks-Smith Demi chef de party, Culinary School of the Rockies, Colorado USA
Michael Caufield musician with a Ph.D. from University of WA
Jessica Black Server, Naples, Florida
Desiree Kushell consumer, Encinitas  CA
Tamsin Kelly Australia
donna price self-employeed
united states
M J Washington, DC U.S.A.
Ross Bingham Chef new york city
Morgan Ennis Wine sales associate, Portland Oregon
Amy Mills Owner, Wachusett Wine Trader, Princeton, MA
fred cottineau wine consultant, new york, NY USA
Jennifer Brett Margaret River Wine Region Tourist Centre
Melissa Fraser Photo stylist, Seattle WA
jen walter executive in charge of production
purveyors of pop productions
new york / los angeles, usa.
jenifer boyce
Ruby Dub Student/Self employed
New Zealand
Eric Danch American Importer
Kim Siren Sales Associate
Vancouver, BC
Steve Case
Amy DeWitt Pastry Chef Instructor, Auguste Escoffier School of Culinary Arts
Sandra Sitron Marlow and Sons, Brooklyn, NY, USA
Michael Hull Filmmaker, Blogger, Drinker
New York City, USA
Maggie Moulatsiotis Freelance food writer, Denver, CO, USA
Lisa Archer Teacher, Tucson Waldorf School, Tucson, Arizona, USA
Christina Heflin Etudiante, Paris 1, Patrimoine et Conservation-Restauration des Biens Culturels, Paris, France
Lew Haugh Give 'em hell, Olivier.
Hannibal, MO., USA
Jason Endsley Assistant General Manager, The Tasting Room Wine Cafe, CityCentre, Houston, Texas
Chris Heinrich Writer, Las Vegas, NV USA
Etheliya Hananova
DeMorge Brown Creative Director, Head Writer, Director: Leite Preto Film. Los Angeles, CA
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Atlanta, Georgia
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The Netherlands
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Daniele Luciano sommelier
Jonathan Loesberg Professor of Literature
American. University
Washington, DC 20016
Keith Cayton retired wine drinker
Ryan Jackson Field Service Engineer, Philadelphia, PA
Jason Simpson
Andrzej Daszkiewicz journalist and website editor at Magazyn WINO, Poland
Ida Wye Georgetown MA USA
Linda Borghi Farmer Abundant Life Farm Walker Valley New York
Ian Halbert Fine Wine Sales Specialist, Gordon's Wine and Liquors, Waltham, MA, USA
Christina Markowski Lincoln Restaurant, Portland, Oregon, USA
Peaches Land Biodynamic Farmer/Gardener
Volker Steens Blogging about biodynamic farming http://is.gd/9B181J
Lee & Chris Lewis SharePoint administrator, Reston, VA, USA
Duane Cartwright
christine wilson
fayejanine pleso PhD in Public Policy and International NGOs
Douglas Padgett Wine drinker
United States government
Former wine sales consultant at Cork Market, Washington DC
Jonna Woodburn Self-employed, Galveston Texas
byron bates wine director, new york city
Erin Robbins Chicago, IL
Vanessa Lampson Wine Specialist, Thirst Wine Merchants, Brooklyn, NY
Rubén Luque Consumer
Parla, Spain.
Marc Williams Web Designer San Diego
Tonneli Gruetter Domaine Selections, marketing asst- portland OR
michael mcfadzen CEO
Alpha Dog Wines
905 George Street
De Pere, WI 54115   USA
importer of French wines
Gregory Moore Operations and Logistics, US Army Retired. Sharon, PA, USA
Debra Swanson General manager, Inn on the Alameda, New Mexico
Jose Moreno-Lacalle Wine writer & blogger, New York, NY, USA
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Diane Rivard Wine Enthusiast Grand Rapids, MI, USA
Sharon Christiansen Mahomet, Illinois 61853,  USA
Jim Cowan Winemaker – Sonoma, CA
Jeff Morin General Manager and wine buyer for City Feed and Supply, INC
Jay Wisniewski Owner, Caffe Boa, www.cafeboa.com
Erin Danna Photographer, Brooklyn, NY
Richard Malloy Attorney & Loire Wine Lover, Boston MA USA
Marc Villemade Family of winemakers in the Loire
Lisa Angello Office Manager, Financial Energy Management, Englewood, CO, USA
Jorge Luis Riera Natural Wine Bar Manager,NYC
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Robert Allen wine lover from
North Carolina,USA
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Chris Johnson Bao Noodles, Owner
Sake Ninja
William Brasile Chef de Cuisine, Minetta Tavern, New York, New York, USA
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James McFadyen Owner, Loch Buie Wine Company, Dallas Texas
John Choquer Owner, Chateau Choquer Vineyards, Battle Ground, WA, USA
Amy Atwood wine importer/distributor, Los Angeles
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Reiko Nozawa wine book translator, Japan
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christine wisniewski President, Empty Glass Wine Co.  Phoenix AZ usa
Mark Court Caretaker . UK
David Johnson Sommelier, Tempe, AZ. USA 85282
John Roberts Researcher, MIT Cambridge, MA
Justin Chearno Wine Buyer. Uva Wines. Brooklyn New York
Robert Harllee Owner, Market Street Wineshops, Uptown & Downtown, Charlottesville, Virginia,USA
Tsuyoshi KOBAYASHI grape grower & wine maker in JAPAN
Michael Faircloth Owner, Vinyl Wine Shop, New York, NY
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Leigh Thurber Owner, retail wine shop, Brooklyn, NY
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Abigail Kellie Manager, Dedalus Wine Shop, Burlington, Vermont, USA
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Victoria Goldberg Wine enthusiast, Boston, MA
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John Lie Writer
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Jim Caudill Director, Public Relations & Hospitality, The Hess Collection, Napa, California, USA
Orris Cowgill Sepulveda Wine Co. Manhattan Beach CA
Jennifer Campbell Senior Paralegal @ Strike & Techel (Alcoholic Beverage Law) San Francisco, CA
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Steve Blazek Owner, bin 105 Fine Wines – Lincoln, NE
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Sharon Kapnick Writer
New York, NY
Jason Schwartz General Manager
Marlow & Sons
Brooklyn, New York
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Bonsall, California   USA
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dr wayne garland Master Formulas, Inc.
908 Fleetwood Drive.
Hot Springs, Arkansas 71913.
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WIlsonville, OR 97070
Jean Luc Le Du Owner Le Du's Wines, NYC
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Scott Horlbogen Owner, Campus Culinary, Exeter, RI, USA
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a wine blogger @ vinopija.wordpress.com
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steve shaw wine educator, Richmond VA, USA
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David Steinberger Attorney, Cole Schotz, Hackensack, New Jersey USA
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Jonathan Walton Sommelier Brooklyn Oenology
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Holly Wing Sales Manager/Importer
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Donato Di Crecchio employeer, Tokyo
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Robert Rossi Consumer/writer, Portland, Maine Etats-Unis
Kazuyuki Nakazawa Owner, Nakazawa Vineyard, Hokkaido, Japan
Ichiro Kanai Kanai Winery Yamanashi Japan
Shuichi Ise office worker,Tokyo,Japan
Shinsaku Katsuyama Tokyo,Japan
Neil Rosen sales rep…Rosenthal Wine Merchant, New York, USA!
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Masami Hayakawa Barrel Merchant, Yokohama, Japan
Caroline Russock Serious Eats, New York, USA
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Nina Hegel Manager/Buyer, Winfield-Flynn, New York, NY, USA
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Ariana Rolich Winfield Flynn
Miyuki Katori
David Patrick O'Connor Enseignant de français
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Heather Herman Wine Director-Cooper Square Hotel
Chase Granoff Vine Wine, Brooklyn, NY
Glen Thompson Wine Buyer/Sommelier, Red Wagon Wine Shoppe, Rochester Hills, MI
Josh Raynolds Assistant Editor, Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar, New York, NY USA
Bruce Gutlove Owner
10R Winery/Kamihoro Nouen
170-11 Honcho
Kurisawa-cho, Iwamizawa-shi
Hokkaido, Japan
Jason Cohen Grantwriter + Wine Blogger, Pennsylvania, USA
Anna Aldridge Wine Marketing Consultant, Melbourne Australia.
Kara Knisley Executive assistant
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Ralf Kuettel Owner, Trestle on Tenth, NYC, USA
Jonathan Kemp Wine director and buyer at Bottle Market, Upper East Side Manhattan.
Bridget Joseph natural wine lover, New Orleans, LA
Jennifer Massolo
Stuart Cohn TV producer
New York, NY, USA
Lisa Hall senior editor, from the USA
Dave Brookes Publisher – http://www.vinofreakism.com
Julia van der Vink Cambridge MA, USA
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Aviram Turgeman Chef Sommelier Nice Matin, Beverage Director Tour de France Chef Driven, NYC
Karen Campanale Brand Ambassador,Anfora Wine Bar, NYC, NY
Tom Rohrer University Professor, Mount Pleasant MI  USA
Molly Sider Buyer, Crush Wine and Spirits, New York, New York
Michael Tulipan Editor, The Savvy Explorer
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Charlotte Gudmundsson Graphic Designer, Astor Wines, New York, USA
Nima Ansari Astor Wines and Spirits
Richard Rehwinkel Chef Tiki e' Tapas Coffs Harbour Australia
Tvrtko Cernos free-lance conference interpreter, former UN staff, accredited with EU institutions, working out of Zagreb, Croatia
Paul White Attorney, NY
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Constance Chamberlain Brand Action Team, Public Relations Manager of Wines, New York, NY USA
Ellisa Cooper Director of Events & Education
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Rob Bralow Manager/Wine Buyer, Blue Streak Wines & Spirits, New York City, New York
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Michael Maller General Manager/beverage director
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Michael Amendola Wine Buyer, Windsor Wine Merchants, Brooklyn, NY USA
Sara McCay Private Events Manager, Astor Center
Chris Gillman Engineer, Burlington, VT  USA
Philip Ashton Associate Professor, University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, IL
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Anna Cail
Whitney Adams Sommelier, Domaine LA and Terroni. Los Angeles, CA
Troy Kinser DIning and Wine Manager, Allium, Great Barrington, MA
Christine Morris Server, Bartender – Del Frisco's Grille (Rockefeller Center, NYC)
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Jesse Frost Farmer, wine shop clerk
Tanya Robinson Wine Consultant, Astor Wines & Spirits, New York, NY USA
Jes Dang Warner Bros. Entertainment, USA
Ch. Sasson Mgr, USQ Wines, NY, NY, US
Derrick Mize Owner, New York Vintners, New York City
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Thomas Smith Special Events Director
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Monica Byrne Owner, Home/Made Wine Bar NYC, USA
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Laura Supper President,
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Jake Parrott Brand Manager, Ledroit Brands LLC (importer/distributor), Washington, DC USA
Anna Dunn Bartender, Diner, Brooklyn
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Gregory Smith Director of Wine, Central Restaurante, Lima, Peru
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George Heritier Owner, Gang of Pour blog; Oak Park, Michigan, USA
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Stephanie Johnson Wine Director
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Jorge Arias The Wine Hut NYC  ( Owner)
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Howard Rodman Professor, University of Southern California
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Doc Adn wine lover…
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MIchael da Cruz Partner, SdC Fine Wine Consultants, NY, NY
Examiner.com Providence Wine Examiner, Providence, RI
Andrew Welder Director of Operations, Saratoga Slice Inc
West Chester PA, USA 19341
Alison Lyons Astor Wines and Spirits
New York, NY
Ben Aneff Managing Director
Tribeca Wine Merchants
New York, NY USA
kerry kiang J&F Manager
Colleen Rafferty Sales Rep.
Aubert & Mascoli Wine Importer
London, UK
Lauren Kennedy sales, Jenny & Francois
Elizabeth Patrick Assistant Buyer
Astor Wines & Spirits
399 Lafayette St, New York NY 10003
Lorena Ascencios Buyer
Valerie Corbin Astor Wines and Spirits, New York, USA
Moses Jones General Contractor
California Winemaker
Mollie Battenhouse Wine Director, Maslow 6, NYC
Carlos Marques Wine MBA Student – Bordeaux Management School
Wine Distributor
São Paulo, Brazil
Matthew Hamilton Belcourt Restaurant NYC
Thomas Riley Writer, retailer (small wine shop), educator, Alameda, CA, USA
Emily Schindler Winemonger Imports, San Anselmo, CA
Kat Kelly Office Manager, Communal Brands, New York, NY USA
gaetano muscatello
Charles Woods Proprietor, Bonhomie Wine Imports
Emilio Castelli Vigneron, Sebastopol, Ca. USA
david seaton Central Bottle Wine and provisions, Cambridge, MA
Christopher Carbone Owner, TerraVino Brookline, MA 02446
Siobhan Lowe Chicago, IL
Matt Reiser Wine Director
UpStairs on the Square
91 Winthrop Street
Cambridge, MA 02138
Alex Miranda Sales Person
Jean Hamilton Wine Student NYC
Adam Morganstern Editor, Organic Wine Journal
Willy Blackmore editor, Tasting Table, Los Angeles
geoffrey miller Consultant, Boston, Ma etats unis
Clement Carriere NAM, LGCF
Matt Mollo Partner/Wine Buyer, The Wine Bottega, Boston, MA USA
Jason Adams Brooklyn, NY, USA
Devlon Moore Distributor
Cesar Castro President, Terroir, Santo Domingo
Mark Goldberger CEO – Vinformative, Inc
Tara Carney Sales manager Maslow6 wineshop
tessa miles Wine Cellar Cape Town South Africa
Local sales
Jordan Napier Olivi Le Buche Winery, Sarteano, Siena
David Fields
Robert Vodicka Eastern Michigan University Federation of Teachers
Samantha Klein unemployed
Anthony Wilson Musician, wine lover, los angeles, CA, usa
Meg McNeill Manager, Dandelion Wine, Brooklyn
Oscar Hernandez Olmstead Wine Co.
gregory perez vigneron vinificateur a Bodegas y Viñedos Mengoba  Bierzo (espagne
carl hagstrand Importer
Njal Poulsen CEO dfb. ApS
Natasha Hughes Freelance wine writer, consultant and educator
jose pastor Jose Pastor Selections
Angus Macnab
Victoire Rabineau Chef de Projet Web – Vinternet – Agence de communication web dans le vin et les spiritueux
Nicolas de Rouyn rédacteur-en-chef
Tao Platon Winemaker assistant Bodega Convento se las Claras (Spain)
Josh Lohmer Manger, Gnarly Vines, Brooklyn, NY
Randall Grahm Winemaker, Bonny Doon Vineyard
Santa Cruz, CA
Elizabeth Griswold UVA Wines, Brooklyn, NY
Catherine Saillard Owner of Restaurant iCi in Brooklyn, New York.
Peter Marchant Mezzanine Wines
On Premise Sales Manager Queensland
Sommeliers Australia Queensland
Jonathan Sayers Managing Director
Bacchant Wines, Sydney Australia
Nicole DeCicco wholesale distributor Upstate Wine Co.
Joseph Dougherty Managing Director at
Seaview Securities LLC
Linda Violago everywhere
Julia Mosack Wine sales representative
Michael Dupuy Owner
Streetcar Wine & Beer
Boston, MA, USA
Nick Gorevic sales, J&F


20 Responses to "Olivier Cousin Needs Your Help!"
  1. This is an utter travesty. The AOC, while striving to preserve typicity, should not be punitive towards those that seek originality. The notion of a jail sentence for Olivier’s supposed transgressions is appalling.

  2. bravo Olivier tu as tout mon appui depuis le Bierzo (Nord Ouest de l’Espagne), moi aussi je suis vigneron avant tout et pas toujours d’accord avec l’apellation d’où mes vins de table ….. je te soutient sur tes principes … et te souhaite le meilleur
    Gregory Perez
    Vigneron Vinificateur Bierzo Espagne

  3. Randall, you said it best! There’s room out there for creative originality and for those who look to AOC law as gospel truth. Punishing creativity and originality has never boded well for any society. Creativity can be chided or even outlawed, but even so, it will never be silenced!

  4. YVES DURAND says:

    Olivier Cousin is the new Asterix of Wine for France. Qu’est-ce qu’ils vont prendre les Romains!

  5. Kevin Gilmore says:

    If Olivier ends up in jail, I will personally flee the states and take care of Joker the horse and tend to the vines myself. Some of the best wines in France…quel est le problème?

  6. David J says:

    Signed on the French petition, almost wish I could ‘ve added my name here: what a lovingly worded statement! Salut!

  7. Anonymous says:

    Liberte, fraternite, egalite was once the cry in France. A revolution in fact to give individuals the right to operate their lives as free men. The United States was modeled with some of the principles from the time of the revolution. Now we are quickly sliding into states of Socialism. Massive government controls the inhibit a farmer (entrepreneur) form operating through taxation, fines, fees, penalties. The list is endless. Consumers of the economic system leaching from the producers.

  8. john karlic says:

    Typical of governing bodies to go after someone for being a free thinker and innovator. This is a prime example of people abusing their power. Sad state of affairs shame on you..

  9. Good one Olivier,
    I believe everything will resolve good at end and nobody will be going to jail for such a thing.
    Good Luck!

  10. hi, that’s a pleasant place. There is some mistakes but the primary is here.

  11. basically the big fish will eat the small….. so let the small fishes get together and screw the big ones…….. What are the thinking…. Long live balance
    Long live Olivier Cousin…….. and his AOC no mater what we will continue to buy his wine even if they say Appelation Moon Cousin! because they will always be UNIQUE and humanity wines!

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