First I took over my father’s wine estate and then my father-in-law’s, when I met Laurence, my wife. My work as a viticultural service provider, for harvests in particular, means that I know these domains well and those of the other partners. For me, dealing with a wine estate means seeing through all the work done with the land. This is my whole life.
When I was a little boy, I built a plough using two spoons and tried to plough small gardens I had made my-self! Since then, I have always been fascinated by mechanics. Tractors, harvesting machines, winemaking equipment… every machine has to be adjusted to the last millimetre if you want an accurate, precise job done. I am proud to look after all of that at our wine estate and at Clairmont.
Thinking as a group is so much better! In the past, we talked to one another very little. For a long time, I worked and thought alone. Since our son joined us recently working on production, I see things differently and with more flexibility. Communication flows. We discuss more freely with our neighbours too.
There are two ways of harvesting by machine: without thinking or with feeling. I chose the second option, looking at everything and seeing every detail: meeting the winegrower, knowing his vineyard by heart, track-ing the ripeness of his grapes, the quality of the soils, adjusting the harvesting machine down to the nearest vine stock. A standard harvest just doesn’t exist.
At Clairmont, we are always active. We are nothing like those enormous cooperatives with industrial pro-duction. We are a small entity and we think about handing over as we would for just one wine estate. The young heirs and successors are here, they represent the new blood and continuity of Clairmont.