In honor of our sale of Château Margaux 1900–2010, Direct from the Cellars: A Celebration of the Mentzelopoulos Era, we are featuring three interviews with the team at Château Margaux starting with Alexandra Petit-Mentzelopoulos. Alexandra joined the team at Château Margaux in 2012. She is the youngest daughter of Corinne Mentzelopoulos, who has run this great first growth since 1980, before Alexandra was born. Alexandra got her Masters in Art History at Sotheby's Institute and lives in London.
Where were you born?
New York, New York
What was your best memory growing up?
Going to the crêperie called "Bot" with my father and sister. It was a nice tradition and we were even allowed to have a glass of cider.
What did you want to be when you grew up?
Where/what did you study?
Bachelor in Business in Paris, then a Masters in Art History at Sotheby's Institute in London.
Any formal wine training?
Level 3 Diploma at WSET. Aiming to take Level 4 next year.
Who was your mentor?
My mother and Paul Pontallier.
What are your views on agriculture: Sustainable? Organic? Biodynamic?
I don't think there's even a debate when speaking about sustainable agriculture, considering the world we live in – it is the minimum we can do. Organic as much as possible, of course!
What was the best advice you ever received?
Don't do to others anything that you wouldn't want them to do to you.
What instantly brings a smile to your face?
Seeing my Parisian friends/family, especially my little goddaughter Alexandra when I go back home.
What instantly makes you frown?
Outside wine, what is your passion?
What's your guilty secret?
I love junk food...
THE REGAL CHÂTEAU MARGAUX.
Early to rise, late to bed; burn the candle at both ends?
Late to bed, unfortunately early to rise.
What are you reading now?
The Hundred Year Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared by the Swedish author Jonas Jonasson.
Favourite place to vacation?
Our house in the countryside in France.
Favourite restaurant in the world?
Red Farm in New York, as they have amazing dim sum and duck noodles.
Favourite restaurant locally?
The Indian restaurant Amaya in London (where I have been living for the last few years). But, in my hometown of Paris I would say Le Stella, which is a very nice lowkey brasserie, close to where I grew up.
Favourite city to visit?
New York. I lived there a few years ago and still have wonderful friends, which makes it so lovely to go back.
Favourite wine/vintage from your winery?
Margaux 85 – my birth year!
Favourite wine/vintage, that is not yours?
A great Burgundy.
Favourite shop to buy clothes?
Sezane (a French brand which is only sold online).
Losing my father when I was only 20 years old.
I think I'm still too young to already brag about my greatest achievement!
If you could choose your perfect last supper before leaving this world, what would it be, who would it be with and what would you drink with it?
Wine, cheese and bread with my family and best friends. As simple as that!