Then it was time for school. It was situated about a kilometre from the house. We went on foot, across the fields, a wonderful walk through nature, grass, trees among insects, birds, flowers, colours and aromas. We used to go down to the Barbanne, a small stream which separates Pomerol from Lalande de Pomerol, and then we went up towards Néac church. The private school was just next to it. My first teacher, Madame Raynal, was waiting for me with my friends of the time. The memories of those superb days are intermingled with those of cold, rainy days when one of my neighbours, who was already big and strong, carried me on his shoulders to finish off the trip to school.
All my early childhood was surrounded by nature, which explains perhaps my natural love of the land in general and viticulture in particular. Even when I was a teenager, my parents decided to go and live in “town” so that it would be easier for my brother Jean-Daniel, and I to study – transport was far more unpredictable then – we spent all our school holidays on the estate with my father who introduced us to viticulture.