Every month, we introduce you to an interesting woman living in Languedoc. Curious as we are, we like to find out why she lives in this beautiful region, what she does for a living and some of her Languedoc favourites. This month we would like you to meet Annelie Berg as Ramoneta of the Month. While sipping one of her wonderful Bergs Kombucha’s, Annelie enlightened me about the health benefits of this fermented drink and more!
Coming from the North of Sweden, I moved to the South of France one year ago. All my life, I have been interested in health and how to help people to feel better. That’s how I became a nutrition adviser. About 30 years ago, I tasted kombucha for the first time in California and absolutely loved it. I decided to make my own kombucha and created my business Bergs Kombucha, which I ran for seven years.
First time visiting the region
I always used to tell friends and family that I wanted to live in France one day. In the meantime, my husband and I loved to go on cycling trips in France. Every time we discovered another region. One holiday, we cycled along the Canal du Midi (1) and arrived in Béziers (2) on our last day. It had been quite a tough trip due to the high temperatures. We arrived on a Thursday, right in the middle of the ‘Soirée Divines’ at the Allées Paul Riquet. Looking at each other while sipping one of the wonderful local wines, we both agreed what a fun place this was!
Settling in Languedoc
The next year, my husband and I combined a trip to Bordeaux with one week in Béziers. The Swedish real estate agent Karin Kloo showed us some apartments. And bingo, the view of the cathedral at the last apartment we visited sold me on the spot. We received the keys on the last day of 2021 and celebrated the new year in our new apartment with oysters and champagne. About six months later, the apartment next door was for sale, which we couldn’t resist. And now, we live in Béziers full time, only visiting Sweden for about one week per year.
After my trip to California, I brought a kombucha starter, which is called a ‘scoby’, back home and started to make my own. Friends and family loved the drink, just like me, and I decided to start a business: Bergs Kombucha (3 & 4). Initially, I only made two flavours. But it was enough for people to know how to find me, and my kombucha became very popular. Especially when two shops in my town in Northern Sweden tasted it and bought all my stock. I didn’t want to grow too big, though, as I made all of my kombucha in my own kitchen.
In 2020 I entered two of my kombuchas in the yearly Swedish food and drink championship ‘SM I Mathantverk’. A professional jury blind-tested all kombucha entries. To my surprise, I won the gold medal in this category! The jury described my strawberry kombucha as a taste of summer, and they wanted more of it. From then on, I got requests from all over Sweden to buy my kombucha.
Living in France, I have continued making kombucha on a smaller scale. Also, I organise kombucha workshops and tastings. If you’re interested, you can contact me via the details below.
Besides Bergs Kombucha, I also work with a company offering test-based, personalised nutrition. In short, their products restore your health balance by looking at your personal needs. The products, all scientifically proven, perfectly fit my interest in health and helping people feel better. One of their key products is ‘Balance Oil’, which brings back the balance between Omega 6 and 3. I’ve been taking this oil for over five years now, and it has improved my energy level, skin, and nails, and even my curly hair has become thicker and curlier!
Living in the South of France
The easy French lifestyle suits me. People seem stressless, which is so much better for me. Another big plus is the sun, which shines 300 days per year here in the South of France. However, there still are seasons, and it isn’t too hot all the time. Also, I like the people. They are open to meeting other people. I have met more people living one year in Béziers than ten years in Sweden.
Best Languedoc wine
I love red wines high in tannins that have a strong taste. One of my favourites is ‘La Terre de mon Père’ from Clos Bagatelle in Saint-Chinian. And another one is ‘Mala Coste Rouge’ from Domaine de la Dourbie in Canet.
Being Swedish, I very much love to eat fish. At L’Ô de Vie in Valras-Plage, they prepare a great sole. In Béziers, I like going to Au Soleil on the Place de la Madeleine, run by a lovely Spanish lady. And, of course, Les Bons Amis (5) on the square that bears the same name. If I want to eat a hamburger, I only want to have it here.
Perfect day out in Languedoc
Obviously, the sun would be shining, and I would take my bike to the beach to eat lunch outside and watch people pass by. Then I would like to go to Vieussan (6), a beautiful little village inland with Mont Caroux as a backdrop. It’s the perfect place to meet with friends, go for a good walk, cook, and then eat (and laugh) together.