The laboratory took up a lot of my time. But I still went on holiday in the summer, to the mountains in winter, I played tennis… a normal, pleasant life, until a very sad event for our family - the death of my father.
It was 1979. My brother was a lawyer. I took over the reins of the family estate with my mother. Two or three years later – especially from the 1982 vintage on - I found myself facing a dilemma: whether to run both the laboratory in Libourne and the family estate in Pomerol or develop the area of consultant oenologist.
Up to 1985, I went with the first option, but then everything changed. I was asked to go to California to study how to optimise the potential of the wines of the region with their owners. Like all young entrepreneurs, I wanted to travel and to broaden my knowledge…
It was the start of a career as a consultant which brought me to four continents, to more than a hundred and fifty different estates. A career path studded with meetings with extraordinary people, visits to vineyards – and grapes – in all kinds of conditions, in all climates and all kinds of cultures. An exceptional professional and human experience!
Of course, Dany was there to manage the laboratory and the estates. We had bought Fontenil in 1986 and were living there since 1997. It was during that period that we rediscovered our Pomerol roots, moving the laboratory to Catusseau, a new structure. Little by little, new young oenologists came and joined the company.
But over time, I was busier and busier. My work took up all my time, with thousands of tastings and analyses. The children had grown up. Stéphanie did business studies and now is in charge of the management and finance of our family business. Marie, the youngest, uses her talents as a graphic artist to enhance the image of our company.
Oenology has evolved considerably and is now state-of–the–art. I went to California to give advice, but did not neglect Bordeaux, where I work on both sides of the river: in my native Libourne region, of course, in the Graves and the Médoc, and in some estates in the South of France.
A really interesting life, between vine and wine. But now I rarely have the time to go on holidays and I had to learn Spanish and English. My timetable is rather complicated – far too many hours wasted in cars and airports, for example – but it is entirely devoted to wine – my passion – to an extent I would never have imagined. Oh, I almost forgot - a message for those who believe in luck. You need to help it along, have lots of enthusiasm and curiosity and above all don’t forget to work a lot… !!