The Bijou Café Launches Signature Wine; Le Jardin Cuvée Prestige is bottled exclusively for the Bijou Cafe by the renowned Les Freres Couillaud winery in France

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The Bijou Café Launches Signature Wine!

Le Jardin Cuvée Prestige is bottled exclusively for the Bijou Cafe by the renowned Les Freres Couillaud winery in France.


(Sarasota, Florida) J.P. Knaggs, owner of The Bijou Café in Sarasota, recently announced that his restaurant has launched Le Jardin Cuvée Prestige, a Loire Chardonnay vinted exclusively for The Bijou Café in collaboration with the renowned Les Frères Couillaud winery in France.

How did it come about?

“We wanted to introduce our own signature wine to take our fine dining experience to the next level,” says Knaggs. “Our good friend and wine guru and importer, Freddy Matson, helped us establish a partnership with Les Frères Couillaud winery to bottle their celebrated Le Jardin Cuvée just for us,” says Knaggs. “For me, this is deeply personal,” he adds. “The wine is a tribute to my mother’s French heritage.” Knaggs’ mother was born in the north of France, near Dieppe in the Normandy region.

Knaggs notes that sense of place and person profoundly informs his philosophy of fine dining. “In the case of this wine, it’s about knowing a variety of elements that influence the vine, including the type of soil it grows in and the people who grow and harvest it. By cooperating with the vintner and importer, we’re able to bring a taste of real French wine to Florida at a great price. We hope our guests will enjoy the new wine as much as we enjoyed collaborating with Les Frères Couillaud.”

Les Frères Couillaud produces high-quality wines on its family vineyards in the Loire Valley. “The Couillaud family is one of the outstanding winegrowers of the western Loire Valley, “says Knaggs. “They produce Muscadets, Chardonnays and Sauvignon, which are renowned around the world. They follow the tenants of sustainable agriculture, which is very important to me.”

Knaggs describes Le Jardin Cuvée Prestige as: “100 percent Chardonnay. It’s refreshing, thirst- quenching and perfect for the Florida climate.” He says the wine offers tropical fruit aromas of pineapples, yellow peaches, apricots and tangerines, which leave “a clean, citrusy fruit in the mouth and a hint of white flinty stone on the finish.”

Le Jardin Cuvée Prestige is now available by glass and bottle to restaurant guests and will also sell retail by the case or bottle.

Renowned for its award-winning line list, The Bijou Café offers wine tastings on the first Friday of each month during the summer months through October. “With three wine experts pouring at least six wines each, there is always a copious amount of succulent wine to sample,” says Knaggs. “Our chefs also prepare a plethora of tasty tidbits to tantalize your taste buds, along with a groaning board of domestic and imported cheeses. It’s the perfect time and place to unwind from a long week and savor the delightful pairing of tastes and textures.” The next wine tasting is September 4, 5-7 p.m.

The Bijou Cafe is located at 1287 First Street in Sarasota. For more information or reservations, call 941-366-8111 or visit


About The Bijou Café

Since 1986, Chef Jean-Pierre Knaggs and his wife Shay have owned and operated The Bijou Café, which has grown from a small, 50-seat restaurant to a seating capacity of 140 people in three intimate and charmingly appointed dining rooms. Over the years, its cuisine, award-winning wine list and exemplary service have established it as one of Sarasota’s most sought-after fine dining destinations. The Bijou’s cuisine reflects Jean-Pierre’s South African and French heritage, with many of his famous recipes developed and refined as he traveled the world as chef aboard a private yacht. His style and interpretations have won the notice and acclaim of Town & Country Magazine, Bon Appetit and Gourmet. In 2004, the Zagat Survey named The Bijou Café Sarasota’s highest-rated restaurant and one of the top three restaurants on Florida’s west coast. Sarasota Herald Tribune readers consistently include it in the paper’s Reader’s Choice Awards; Florida Trend lists it as one of the top 200 restaurants in Florida and Sarasota Magazine simply calls The Bijou Café, “Best of the Best.” Since 1990, The Bijou Café has annually garnered the prestigious Wine Spectator Award of Excellence for its outstanding wine selections from around the United States and the world, including one of the most extensive selections of South African wine available in Florida. Visit

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