My Métier d’Excellence
I’m a skilled Vineyard Worker at Clos des Lambrays. I have a number of responsibilities at the estate, working in the vineyards, in the cellars, in the winery, as well as general maintenance. I’m quite versatile. During the vendanges I transport the grapes harvested by tractor to store them, and then there are different vinification tasks to be done before returning to the vines to get them ready for the next year. We have to replant vines, prune them, do repairs. I’m in charge of the mechanical work in the vineyards such as phytosanitary treatments, and I also work on bottling the wines and preparing orders. So I’m actually involved in every stage of making the estate’s wines, from start to finish.
My father was a winemaker so I’ve been in the vineyards since I was a child. Actually I wanted to get away from winemaking when I was younger and after high school I attended university to pursue a career in sports. I didn’t particularly enjoy it though, so I went back and got a vocational degree in agricultural operations and then a technical degree in winemaking. That’s when I joined the Clos des Lambrays estate as an apprentice. After I got my degree in 2013 the Maison hired me the following year. I also spent a very enriching six months working on an estate in California to give me a broader perspective about wine and winemaking.
The most important things you need for this métier
You have to be very versatile, given the very broad range of tasks to be done. It’s also important to be autonomous, because sometimes you can be working alone for several weeks, so you have to be able to get the job done and make decisions yourself. And both precision and rigor are absolutely essential, because this is a prestigious Maison that makes superb quality products and sets very high standards.
Passing on the métier to new generations
I really enjoy passing on the skills of my métier to young people who join us as interns or apprentices. Depending on their profile you don’t teach them the same way. When someone is totally new to the milieu, I share what I know with them, and it’s really gratifying to see the progress they’ve made during their time with us. Others might already have some experience in the vineyards and that’s even more interesting since there’s a real exchange, and I learn new things from them as well. This is a métier where you need an open mind because there are different ways to do a given task.