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. The second in our series of interviews is with Paul Pontallier. Paul has been Managing Director of Château Margaux since 1990, having originally joined the team in 1983. He is highly respected on the technical side and has had a brilliant working partnership with Corinne Mentzelopoulos, which has resulted in the formidable reputation of the wines of Château Margaux today.


Where were you born?
In Bordeaux.

What was your best memory growing up?
Sitting on my father's lap, by the fireplace.

What did you want to be when you grew up?
A farmer.

Where/what did you study?
Agronomy in Paris, viticulture in Montpellier and oenology in Bordeaux.

Who was your mentor?
Emile Peynaud.

What are your views on agriculture: Sustainable? Organic? Biodynamic?
At least sustainable, organic if possible.

What was the best advice you ever received?
Don't take yourself too seriously.

Outside wine, what is your passion? 

What was the last music you downloaded? 
Schubert's sonatas. 

What are you craving right now? 
Right now, a glass of Pavillon Blanc! 

Early to rise, late to bed; burn the candle at both ends? 
No; it's rather: early to rise, early to bed. 

How do you keep in shape? 
No mystery: exercising a bit. 

What are you reading now? 
Caïn, Abel, ötzi, L'héritage néolithique by Jean Guilaine.


Favourite place to vacation?
Our country home in the Périgord.

Favourite city to visit? 
Probably Paris. 

Favourite airline? 
The ones that have the best connections from Bordeaux: Air France or British Airways. 

Favourite wine/vintage from your winery? 
That's a difficult one... Maybe 2010. 

Favourite wine/vintage, that is not yours? 
A great Burgundy.

Biggest disappointment? 
Not to have spoken enough with my father. 

Greatest achievement? 
Managing to speak openly with my children. 

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? 
It would be with my wife and children, and several bottles of Château Margaux. No matter what what we eat!