Articolo disponibile anche in: Italian
When you think of Castellina in Chianti, who comes to mind? Easy! Gilles Kehren.
Everybody here knows him! And where has he been for the past ten years? In the Enoteca Aleandro, at the beginning of via Ferruccio. He arrived in Castellina by chance in 1994, and never left. He’s of French origin, but the Chianti is his adopted home.
“I was known as Gilles from Casafrassì! I wanted to get work experience outside of France “, he tells us. “I had thought of England and America as possible destinations. I spoke fluent English and German. But destiny brought me to Casafrassi, where they were looking for someone to help the owner, Umberto, to manage the hotel”.
“I thought I’d stay only for six months, but I ended up creating a family here in Castellina”, he tells us with his distinctive French accent.
“I learned Italian here, and immediately fell in love with this country. I still remember the first sunset I saw when I got here: from the Poggi vantage point I admired all the beauty of the Chianti” Gilles tells us with a bit of nostalgia.
He immediately distinguished himself for his dedication to his work. Aleandro spotted him, and in 1996 he started working for him at the Cantuccio. There, he also met his wife Fabiola with whom he had two beautiful children.
“When my daughter was born, I understood that this job was too demanding. I did not have the opportunity to take care of my family as I wanted to. Before, the Cantuccio was a Wine Bar”, explains Gilles. “It was a meeting point for people from all the nearby villages. Then came Leandro’s proposal to work with him in the Enoteca, I accepted and I’ve been working there ever since”, he reveals enthusiastically.
He, who has become a real wine connoisseur, loves Italy more than anything else in the world. “My first love was the Fiorentina steak,” he laughs. In France he returns at least once a year with his family.
“He’s wonderful, trustworthy, and very good with the customers. He grew up with me and I’m very proud of him”, says Aleandro” He’s like a son to me! I saw him growing up”.
“A good person, kind, respectful, a real wine connoisseur, helpful and ironic”, says his colleague Alexandra Ruf.
“He’s my rock,” says his wife Fabiola, and her words are full of love.