Portrait

The New Converts

They are the new converts. With their deeply rooted winegrower’s faith, these former captains of industry and prosperous industrialists, private investors and hedonist visionaries occupy a position of choice in the French wine industry. Some of them have chosen the land as though it were a religious vocation, while others opt for a way of life that is exactly opposite of what they have known up until then. Still others are pursuing a lifelong dream. The motivations of these novice winegrowers are many and varied – a spectacular change of direction, a wise investment or a passion accomplished – but to make the venture a success and not destroy the foundations on which their dreams are built, they must benefit from their previous learning experience and manage their vineyards with the skills of an entrepreneur. Stéphane Paillard founded Bureau Viticole in Saint- Rémy-de-Provence fifteen years ago. A trained oenologist, he advises these future winegrowers and accompanies their projects. He believes that the motives of these investors are firmly anchored in the desire to take on a new life. Roger Caille, for example, made his fortune with "Jet Services", France's first private postal service. In 2002, he bought Château L’arrosée, a saint-émilion grand cru. It was the start of a whole new life. During this difficult period for the winegrowing industry in France, salvation will perhaps come from these neo-winegrowers who offer not only new capital, but also a new approach and an ambition fired by their deep passion for wine, while their only real desire is to become venerable winegrowers …”

The New Converts