It’s more than just a club; it has become a community. at the heart of this growing dynamic is Bradley Mitton, who chats to Riviera Insider about his successful concept and global career in gastronomy.
How did Club Vivanova begin?
It was established to support our New World wine sales into partner five-star hotels and restaurants, where we host events to promote the wines and location. The concept has been so successful that the club evolved into an international business networking circle where expatriates and local businesspeople can try new restaurants at a managed event with excellent wines and gourmet menus. The focus is making sure people socialise and develop real relationships.
We’ve been running the club for 15 years and the events are getting better and bigger; membership is growing and our reputation is exemplary.
Attendees wine and dine at great prices and with unique concepts; restaurants and hotels are promoted internationally and receive a new group of clients, and we promote and build relationships with our wines, the hotel and private clients.
The experiences are unique and range from Saint Tropez beach parties to luxury yacht cocktails, premium wine presentations with producers from the New World and weekends in Alba at the truffle market. We host 60 events per year for our 500 members, but also have over 12,000 subscribers. To keep our clientele interested, we have to vary our concepts and we do this by being as diverse as we can.
What is your background?
I worked as a chef and restaurateur for 12 years in Australia, Hong Kong, the Philippines and South Korea. My career led me to experience an array of different restaurants and I learnt as much as I could to develop in the business.
In 2002, when Eastern Europe was developing, I moved to Berlin and opened my company Mitton International Wines with a view to importing New World wines from small, family-owned wineries and distributing them with exclusive contracts in the gastronomy industry. We established distribution throughout Germany and then into the Czech Republic and Poland.
More recently, I developed the business to distribute in Italy, Spain, France and Monaco. With my experience in the food and beverage industry – and my enthusiasm to succeed – I focused on building relationships with leading sommeliers and restaurateurs so that we now list our wines in over 200 of Europe’s best restaurants, clubs and hotels. The key to success is hard work and believing in yourself. Although there have been hard times, we have grown slowly and surely, and we are continuously building on our success by offering excellence to our clients, club members and partners.
What type of events and experiences can we look forward to this year?
We’ll be hosting a Summer Gala at the Grand Hyatt Martinez Hotel in Cannes and a selection of events in Saint Tropez and Monaco that focus on after-work networking evenings with fine wines and good company. Our summer events are more casual with light menus and easy-drinking wines. We notice an increase every year in business travellers and tourists who are in the region so interest in the club is growing internationally.
Our major event for the coming month is the Monaco Grand Prix, where we are hosting a VIP Lunch on the rooftop of the Fairmont Monte Carlo and overlooking the famous hairpin turn!