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The Weekend Neos Kosmos : 9 July 2016
DIGITAL.NEOSKOSMOS.COM THE WEEKEND NEOS KOSMOS | SATURDAY 9 JULY 2016 21 WORLD Corinne Mentzelopoulos and her daughter Alexandra at the family estate. there for five centuries and it will live way after me and my family. How important was the contribution of revolutionary oenologist Émile Peynaud in the development of the renowned vintages? Émile Peynaud was crucial in restoring the true quality of the wine. I believe hiring Émile as a consultant was one of the best decisions my father made. I was lucky enough to work with him until 1990. In 2012 you received the distinction of Officer of the Legion of Honor. A French Order established by Napoleon Bonaparte in 1802. The Order is the highest decoration in France. How important was such honour that was bestowed on you? I believe I owe it all to my father and to the magnitude of the fame of Château Margaux. The youngest of your two daughters, Alexandra Petit-Mentzelopoulos, has joined Château Mar- gaux. Do you see a family wine dynasty emerging and how significant is it to you personally that this lineage now continues? I have two daughters and one son. My youngest daughter, Alexandra, has been working for Château Margaux for some years now and I have tried to put everything in place for a smooth and fruitful transition when the time comes for my children to take over the business. How do you view the current economic and humanitarian crisis in Greece? What areas would you address in the political-economic areas? I try to help as much as I can in Greece, especially in education and hospitals. I look after a number of things in my grandfather's village up in the mountains of the Peloponnese, as well as in the village where we have our family house. I am a board member of the Hellenic Initiative, a large Greek American not-for-profit organisation that does amazing work in Greece. At this point in my life, I have decided to increase my commitments towards this cause. The year 1961 seems to be a highlight year for the wine. Why? 1961 was probably one of the best vintages of the 20th century. The climatic conditions were perfect throughout the growing season and a severe frost reduced the overall quantity, which contributed to a lot of concentration in the grapes. 1961 is one of those magic Bordeaux vintages, and an example of what Bordeaux can produce at its best combined with its ageing unique capacity worldwide. What would you consider your biggest success since you took over the family business? 'Primum non nocere'; a Latin expression that means 'Don't do any harm in the first place'. Have you had the opportunity to visit Australia? What do you think of the quality of Australian and Greek wines? Are there any that have impressed you? Unfortunately, I have not been to Australia but I am planning to go in the future. I have enjoyed many Australian wines, especially the white ones, and during summer time, I drink solely Greek wines ranging from assyrtiko to retsina, which I am very fond of. From an aspiring veterinarian, neurosurgeon, conductor and skiing champion, what would you advise someone contemplating entering the winemaking business? You have to love wine. American fashion model/actress Margaux Hemingway was named after Château Margaux. Did you ever have the opportunity to meet her? Yes, and I have many pictures of Margaux with my father. She was beautiful and a lot of fun. I believe she also was a ski champion. You have a penchant for junk food, i.e. burgers and fries, which – somehow - you recommend with a Margaux. How do these two extremes complement one another? Well, I love being able to go from a hot dog with a Coke to a sophisticated meal with good wine. I am happy that I can enjoy both experiences. What advice would you like to offer to young women that want to succeed in their careers? You have to work hard and love what you do. Is there such a thing as work/ life balance for a mother? I hope there is but you might have to ask my children the same question. Do you think that there is gender equality in the world? How is this represented at the highest levels of business? There would be gender equality in the world if women decided to be more competitive. Some women prefer to look after their children instead; a choice I respect.
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