Yohann Yahiaoui

Head of Wine and Winemaking
Moët & Chandon

My Métier d’Excellence

I’m the Head of Wine and Winemaking at Moët & Chandon, and I also work with Mercier, Ruinart and Dom Pérignon . My primary role is to ensure that the winemaking is done right. Then I work with the cellar masters on the blends, helping select the wines that can go into the assemblage and constructing the formulations. I’m the contact between the cellar masters and the vineyards to help ensure that they get the raw materials they need.

The most important things you need for this métier

You have to understand the objectives and needs of each Maison. These aren’t things you learn in school. You have to be capable of understanding certain aspects yourself, so some familiarity with the Maisons is essential. Then you need to be able to anticipate the consequences of the choices made while having the courage to make decisions. For example, that might mean deciding to keep a wine in the cellars because it has good ageing potential.

What I love most about my métier

Despite the fact that this is a cyclical activity with phases that repeat themselves each year, the way you work changes each year. This year, for example, we had a totally atypical grape harvest – we didn’t have a lot of volume, while 2018 was an abundant year. So we are constantly challenged by different needs and objectives, and that really makes this métier fascinating.

Passing on the métier to new generations

I always take time to explain things and why we do them a certain way, encouraging people to own what they do. I work a lot with apprentices from the Moët & Chandon Institut des Métiers d’Excellence, and I like not simply giving them a solution when they face a problem, because I want them to understand that there isn’t necessarily a correct solution. Nothing is written in stone in this métier, and I like to see people grow on their own while giving them support.