Photos Jean-Barnard Nadeau – Vidéo Arnaud Fleuri – English Version by Maxine Colas
Nothing marked Bruno, who hails from Provence, to become the leading man of the Feret publishing house; well almost nothing, because being the grandson of a wine grower, he has been familiar with the wine world since his early childhood. When he arrived in Bordeaux in the early 70’s, he studied economics and at the same time, worked for a Bordeaux wine merchant company.
His passion for books then led him to work for various publishing companies, such as Hachette, Flammarion and Gallimard…Thus his career began between wine (trade and production), journalism (mainly financial press) and publishing. Bringing all his passions together was a challenge, but one which became possible in 1993, when the heirs to the Feret publishing house join forces with new shareholders to revitalize this century old company. He consequently left Paris, where he had been working for several years, and settled back in Bordeaux.
In 1995, he became director and in 2003, he ensured a bright future for the company by bringing together a group of new shareholders, all of them wine lovers.
The watchword of Feret publishers is to « Defend the written word and the spirit of the wine world »
The company has a 198 year history of passionate dedication. In 1812, Jean-Baptiste Féret (the elder) founded a book shop in Bordeaux. Jean-Baptiste acquired the booksellers certificate (which was a special privilege in those days) in 1813. In 1821, he established the company at number 30,des Fossés du Chapeau Rouge, near the Opera house in the centre of Bordeaux. His son, Michel-E.Féret took over the business in 1841. The bookshop was renamed Librairie Féret & Fils (& Son) and relocated to number 2 Place Saint-Rémi. The business expanded rapidly and in 1845 was moved to no.15, Fossés de l’Intendance.
The year 1850 marked a turning point in the future of the House of Féret – which had also publishing books by then – which would ensure its place in the world of publishing. Michel-E. Féret offered to publish Charles Cocks’s guide to Bordeaux wines in French. Thus, in 1850, appeared the « le Guide de l’étranger à Bordeaux et dans la Gironde » (« The foreigner’s guide to Bordeaux and the Gironde »). The city of Bordeaux, its surrounding area and its wines were classified by order of merit: this became known as the first “Féret”. This reference book, which is a witness to both the activity and the economy of a whole region through its successive editions over the years, promotes the reputation of Bordeaux wines throughout the world so successfully that it is considered to be the “Bible of Bordeaux Wines” or “le Féret” for short.
Between 1998 and today, more than one hundred editions of the “Féret” have been printed, including texts from some of the most famous wine specialists. The 21st century began with a new edition of Bordeaux and its Wines. Féret publishing moves with the times and is preparing a translation into mandarin Chinese for 2012, its bicentennial year!
End 2010 at the House of Féret
A new and practical collection of technical reference books called the Précis de Féret (the Féret handbooks) will be presented at Vinitech, the technical trade fair. The end of this year illustrates the development of an ever evolving catalogue :
– Humour with Jean-Pierre Gauffre and his hilarious and impertinent little dictionary of wine and the vine ; when all’s said and done, it’s better to laugh than cry…
– ‘Les Mains du Vin’ (wine hands or the heart of the land) by Stéphanie Reiss ; a tribute to the secular savoir-faire of our wine growers – showing that passion comes first.
– ‘Le Soufflé sur la Truffe’; celebrating gastronomic indulgence, one of the greatest joys on this earth.
The English Version is by Maxine Colas