Our Story

Same River Twice Wines is a producer in the Ventoux region of the southern Rhône Valley in France. Our mission is to make wines for everyday enjoyment that emphasise the natural freshness, finesse and purity of fruit of our distinctive terroir. Our wines give a fresh perspective on a classic style, with lower alcohol levels and a youthful energy.

Same River Twice Wines was created by James, a wine agent and former importer in Tokyo, in partnership with Laurent, a local vigneron whose family has farmed the area for over 300 years, to make a style of wine for people who love the aromatic richness of our terroir but seek wines with a lighter touch.

Laurent farms the vines and they make the wines together. Their shared obsessions are healthy soil, healthy grapes and blends that show terroir, or provenance, in its truest form. They’ve worked together since the 2010 vintage.

The terroir is a landscape of hills and mountains, vineyards, wild Provençal herbs, pine forests, lavender fields, olive trees and beautiful light. The dry, sunny Mediterranean climate is ideal for growing vines. Wine has been produced here for over two thousand years.

Most of the vines are around forty years old and are grown on poor, stony, clay-limestone soils on the slopes of Mont Ventoux (“windy mountain”, thus well aerated, and relatively cool). The agriculture follows the principles of organic farming, with an additional emphasis on minimising treatments and use of mechanical equipment, all to encourage a healthy soil life.

The wines are made and aged simply in fibreglass or concrete or enamel (red and rosé) and enamel or stainless steel (white and orange) using indigenous yeasts, bottled without fining or filtering, and with no additives or manipulations other than a small dose of sulphites.

Our name comes from 2,500-year-old Stoic philosophy. Seneca quotes Heraclitus: “We go down into the same river, and yet into a different river. For the river keeps the same name, but the water has already flowed past”. It speaks to our experience of life: the books, the music, the places we love remain the same yet change as we change. Wine carries the same name yet changes from vintage to vintage. It evolves in bottle. And it evolves once more from start to finish of a bottle once open. Life is constant flow.

James’ interest in wine was sparked by a WSET course, which led to a Diploma in 1997. He subsequently worked as an agent, then founded and ran importer The Vine in Tokyo for 15 years. Today, he lives in the Ventoux, a region he’s loved since family camping holidays there during his childhood. Apart from making and drinking good wine, he’s also passionate about local, organically grown food, by staying fit, and by music of almost all tastes, but in particular 1960’s and 1970’s soul, rock and jazz. He continues to run wine agency Wine Goes East.

Laurent is a trained oenologist, former winemaker at one of the most successful cooperatives in the Southern Rhône, and is happier at home in the Ventoux than anywhere in the world.