About us

Tim Cowley, an ex-professional rugby player from New Zealand made the leap to Europe in 2003. So much for a year abroad. His appetite for travel grew and grew.

After retiring from rugby in 2012 he decided to follow his passion for wine, travel, and the French culture. Bordeaux was the perfect place to capture all of this. Boasting a nearby coastline, amazing wine and 1000’s of vineyards to go with it, great food, and a classic french culture full of history, Tim did the first ever tour in an old car he borrowed from a mate and Rustic Vines was born.

Meet the team

Tim Cowley

Founder & Guide

The expat from New Zealand who fell in love with France and thought it would be a good idea to show other people exactly what he fell in love with. Rustic Vines was born.

Pascaline Hamel

Administration & Marketing

The passionate Normandy girl who has adopted Bordeaux like her own. Has the longest to-do list of any of us.

Yoann Allain

Wine Tour Guide

The passionate Breton who has visited more First Classified Growths than the rest of us put together. Repairs bikes for fun – A bonus for Rustic Vines.

Laurent Guëze

Wine Tour Guide

The local who is just as at home on a sailing boat as he is in the vineyards. Great to have a guide who has studied Oenology.

Valentin Pascaud

Wine Tour Guide

Mr Sommelier just loves his wine and grew up down the street from our office. If (wine) knowledge means power, then he will go far.

Hélene Louys

Wine Tour Guide & Communication

The former actress whose side talent is baking delicious cookies. Thought it would be a good idea to study Wine Marketing in Bordeaux. Smart move, we all win.

Charlotte Renard

Bike Tour Guide & Community Manager

Current student dreams one day of commercialising her own wine. Knows the power of Social Media (so follow us at see for yourself ? )

Thomas Dos Santos

Marketing & Guide

The Bordeaux local who at just 26 has an underground cellar of his own. Helps to spread the good word about Rustic Vines.

Scott Hurrell

Manager & Guide

The expat from New Zealand who landed in countryside France, and has been surrounded by vineyards ever since. Rustic Vines’ first employee.

We look forward to meeting you soon.

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