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A DAY IN THE LIFE OF CHRISTIAN MOUEIX



"The best time of my day is between 5 and 7 in the morning. I wake up everyday at 5, whatever the season, here at home (outside Libourne) and also in California. I have no email, no computer and no mobile phone. I don't know how to use a computer. Only the telephone."

Story & Photos By Ch'ng Poh Tiong

There is something conspicuous in its absence in Christian Moueix's office in the Quai du Priourat. There is no sign of a computer. Nor a fax machine. There is just a desk, a few chairs, and a telephone.

"I'm still taking care of the generic wines J P Moueix and Christian Moueix Merlot taking care of the buying of the finished wines that will go into them (J P Moueix and Christian Moueix are Bordeaux brands). I like the contact with the small producers/ growers. I always do that personally.

"For me, this is very important because my family has been so lucky in the wine business and what I do, this is paying back to the small producers what they have given to my family for the past 70 years. It's so sad to see so many producers not making it in Bordeaux. There is no reason for them to be abandoned.

"I continue with two or three people in our team to do the final blending for all the chateaux (including Pomerol properties Trotanoy, Providence, Hosanna, La Fleur Petrus, Latour á Pomerol and La Grave á Pomerol, and Saint-Emilion's Belair-Monange the new name for Chateau Belair since Christian Moueix acquired it in 2008 and Chateau Magdelaine).

"I go through the vineyards once or twice a week in the morning. I follow the production process. I also have a very good team around me on the commercial side. That's the basis of my job. Otherwise, my daily worries more than you can expect have to do with administration.

"As for the situation at Petrus, there is a complete change after the 2008 vintage. I now work as consultant. We had trained the young Olivier BERROUET to take over (son of Jean-Claude BERROUET who was previously
overall in charge of winemaking at Chateau Petrus and all the chateaux of Etablissements J P Moeix, and who retired after the 2007 harvest, having first joined the company in 1963).

"Our goal, my brother (Jean-Francois MOUEIX, proprietor of Petrus) and me is to have Petrus separate. Etablissements J P Moueix will continue to keep the exclusivity for the overseas export of Petrus. This then is
the transition.

"The best time of my day is between 5 and 7 in the morning. I wake up everyday at 5, whatever the season, here at home (outside Libourne) and also in California.

"I follow very closely California. Every day, I receive the faxes (from Dominus Estate in Napa Valley). I reply to the faxes. It's much more relaxed over there and I don't have the same daily stress. After that, I read a bit of the
newspapers before going to the office where I have no email, no computer and no mobile phone. I don't know how to use a computer. Only the telephone."

Editor's Note

2008 marks the last vintage in which Christian Moueix took a direct participation, including in its harvest, fermentation and the blending, of Chateau Petrus. He now works as its consultant, and his company Etablissements J P Moueix (founded by his late father Jean-Pierre Moueix) will continue to be responsible for the overseas distribution of the iconic Pomerol wine.



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