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champion | Michaël Llodra, From tennis courts to cellars

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We all know the beauty of his serve and volleys on a tennis court. But Michael Allaudra is a man of many hats. A former world number one in doubles, and a lifelong wine aficionado, he is a savvy businessman who now lives off that passion. In Bordeaux he has developed his own wine club, with tailor-made service.

Michael Llodra He was in the second division when, along with his father, he decided to stop studying to devote himself entirely to his passion: tennis. sponsored quickly Nike, which helps him financially to travel around the world during tournaments, the young tennis player climbs into the top 100 players in the world. Number 20 in singles and, above all, number one in doubles, he has won no fewer than 28 titles in this discipline, including three Grand Slams, a silver medal, and a masters in doubles. A brilliant career that will last fifteen years.

An old passion

when the racket gets stuck, Michael Llodra She will continue to live from his passion. More tennis, but wine. His interest peaked at the age of 23, when he started on the ATP circuit. Passed on by his coach at the time, his love of wine grew so much that when he traveled to the ends of the world for the Australian Open, he took with him a suitcase full of magazines on terroir, grape varieties or history. of wine again. “I spent four to five hours a day documenting myself in the world of wine. It’s a passion that never left me,” explains Champ, who in his athletic career met wine growers in Bordeaux and Burgundy in their fields. He sets out to discover wine, and through encounters and great tastings, desire is born. to embark on this profession.

In 2012, he opened with Arno Clement His marital partner, a wine bar in Dijon. A case that will last three years. When Michael Llodra Putting an end to his career in 2015, he moved to Bordeaux where he opened Clandestine Cellar, a bespoke table in his cellar. The idea: a kitchen based on his wife’s curated food and wine pairings Camille, passionate about cooking, with a selection of over 12,000 bottles. In 2019, he launched his own wine distribution business, Chai Mikawith his partner Christophe Jacquemin-Sablon. He builds tailor-made cellars for individuals who are passionate about wine. “I make the cellars listen to the clients, and the idea is to offer them a selection of wines that I have selected at the source. The aim of this club is also to meet around tastings or dinners in the company of winegrowers in a friendly setting. Success is with going for the Olympic medal winner because today it brings together more than 120 members, meticulously selected.In addition to creating cellars for individuals, it represents prestigious estates by placing its wines in the finest establishments in the Nouvelle Aquitaine region.” The adventure got off to a slow start before taking off a couple of years ago. When we speak from the heart of a passion that lives in us, people feel it and trust us. »

in 2020, Chai Mika He opens a store in downtown Bordeaux, while continuing his club. The three-year-old company has a staff of six with a turnover of €2.8 million. A profitable business, its founders did not get paid for the first two years. “I wanted to take advantage of the company and create a large stock of bottles. I am careful about the weather because if there is no production tomorrow, I will not have wine. I always have to be able to continue to offer wine to my customers.”


today, Michael Llodra He is a happy and complete man. club Chai Mika It pleases him and has no intention of changing that. And if his shop in Bordeaux is doing well, he has no intention of franchising it for now. “You have to take your time. Today, I have properties that trust me and I don’t want to cut them off. I’d rather continue to do a good job, because I offer a personalized service. Responding to the demands of demanding customers is what drives the former tennis player. Some wine growers even make their own coffee.” “It’s a real sign of trust with my clients and a real pride to represent industries that trust me. »

voluntary, Michael Llodra He does not count his hours and is always the power of suggestion when he discusses the different strategies of the company. Resilience and perseverance he undoubtedly inherited from his career as a professional athlete. But if he is alone on the tennis court, he plays collectively through his company and association. A different approach involves a lot of responsibility. Every year, he organizes Mica challenge. A melange between sport and vin, ses deux passions, dont l’objectif est de vivre un week-end between amateurs de vins, vignerons qui viennent faire déguster leurs belles plus cuvées et sportifs dont il constitue la cave, qui viennent partager leurs propres expériences from life.

Role Michael Llodra He doesn’t stop there, as he also dons the charitable hat through Sport a du cur, an association set up by former athletes like himself, which helps athletes in precarious situations. It creates events with special auctions where various athletes are invited to donate their jersey or accessories to the association. Last year, the association raised more than 250,000 euros Mica challenge Thanks, among others, to Zinedine ZidaneOn skis from Martin Fourcadein a helmet Tessa Worley Or even in a shirt Roger Federer. This associative aspect is very important to Michael LlodraHe has an obsession: “To give to others what sport has given me.”

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