Wine families webinar
Following the publication by the Academie du Vin Library of my book, 10 Great Wine Families it was a pleasure to host a webinar with seven of the 10 families featured in the book: guests Leonardo Frescobaldi, Emmerich Knoll, Louis- Michel Liger Belair, Alvaro Palacios, Matthieu Perrin, Jacques Thienpont and Miguel Torres Maczassek. For the book, all of the producers allowed me to ask really challenging questions and spend several days staying with them, experiencing their family lives. Talking to some of the top names in Europe, the webinar dealt with such issues as the pros and cons of heritage; the challenges of changing a mindset of the past generation; the advantages of working with every single member of the family; succession planning; living “above the shop”; climate change, new grape varieties and how to get the older generation to go along with your ideas; the price of land, financing and the challenge of keeping the estate intact; how to maintain your reputation; how to expand the business and how to train and interest your children to continue the legacy. The webinar offered some very candid replies to all these issues and offered an inside look, behind the scenes. When you have wines that have a great reputation, there’s a lot of tension that builds up in the family, where inheritance laws create a problem. Napoleon had a lot to answer for, it’s often easier for wine families to sell up than it is for them to divide their business among their children. Most families don’t survive beyond the third generation. But what’s interesting about those in this book is that they all have. It’s important for each generation to know that it’s not just about money. The best conversations we had were in the vineyards. The success of the families is down to hard work. They really work. And they love what they do.