Etienne started his adventure at Château de Pommard in 2014 as a seasonal wine advisor. Today, he leads our retail wine advisor team and shares his passion for Burgundy wine with thousands of visitors.
Tell us about your role at Château de Pommard and your chief responsibilities.
I have been leading the team of wine advisors here at the Château for the past two years. As a team, our primary goal is to share our passion for wine and our love of Burgundy with our visitors. We are the ambassadors of the Château for our visitors from around the world, and we have the privilege of making the crucial first impression on our clients who visit the Château. It's no secret that we offer some of the most beautiful visits in Burgundy, and we want our clients to have the experience of a lifetime. As a manager, my role is to spread this vision and the Château's values within my team and to assure that we are doing all we can to satisfy our clients. The wine advising team not only aims to make sure our visitors enjoy our wine but to introduce our wine to distributors throughout France. In this role, my goal is to find the best partners in the market. Most of my research is focused on French gastronomic and "bistronomique" restaurants, as well as high-end retailers and private clubs.
What did you do before joining the team at Château de Pommard? Has wine always been a passion?
I grew up on the Reunion Island, where my father owned a restaurant. He passed on his passion for wine to me when I was quite young. I have always been interested in wine but, at the time, I could not imagine that I would make a career out of it. I began my career as a real-estate agent in Paris. Early on, I realized that I was good at selling but that I needed to be passionate about the product to truly succeed. So I switched from selling walls to wines and moved to Beaune. Luckily, I already had already worked for various estates across the region before joining the Château's team.
What is so unique about working at Château de Pommard?
First of all, I would say that Château de Pommard is guided by a spirit of innovation. There is a unique energy here, not only from the place itself but also from the people working at the Château. There's an extraordinary kind of solidarity that exists between and among the different teams at Château de Pommard. Mutual aid, generosity, and trust are values that we all share, no matter where we sit in the hierarchy. I started with the 2014 vintage as a seasonal wine advisor, and I was allowed to advance quickly to my current position, where I have considerable responsibilities.
How do you succeed in sharing your passion to all the visitors at the Château?
I think that our clients are simply amazed by the magic of the place when they arrive here. The Château itself, the gardens, the Clos and the seven distinct plots are fascinating and pique everyone's curiosity. My role, as manager of the retail wine advisors, is to make sure that the team fulfills our visitors' curiosity while delivering the right message. We are here to make the world of wine more accessible. We are all passionate about wine so it is a joy for us to spread this passion to our clients and to teach them about the historic Burgundy region.
Of all the Clos Marey-Monge wines, which one is your favorite and why?
All the Clos wines, born from the seven distinct plots, are unique and fabulous, but if I had to only chose one I would go for Grands Esprits. This wine differentiates from the others with its great freshness, minerality, and length. It is a very elegant wine, with an expressive nose and a savory palate. Grands Esprits offers an impressive roundness and a fantastic length mainly due to its calcareous soil. A perfect balance between elegance and strength, it is a real Pommard.
How would you describe Grands Esprits 2019?
It is a fruit-forward wine that you can enjoy right away. The nose is expressive and energetic, with vibrant notes of red fruits, almost overripe, even though the wine is still quite young. Despite its youth, Grands Esprits 2019 has a remarkable length. It is an aromatic, balanced wine, which is characteristic of the 2019 vintage and is delicate, yet lush.
What ambitions do you have for your team?
My team has a particular interest in biodynamics and in Nature. With the organic certification and the biodynamic conversion of the vineyards, Château de Pommard is at a turning point in its history, and the whole team is involved in this transformation.
How will the customer experience evolve at the Château in the coming years?
We are continuously improving the tasting experiences that we offer at the Château in order to make them even more captivating and memorable. It is crucial for us that our clients understand that they can enjoy a phenomenal wine that has been produced without the use of chemicals or environmentally detrimental practices. In the long-term, we plan to offer more personalized experiences based on the preferences and desires of our visitors.