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 third and final in our series of interviews is with Corinne Mentzelopoulos. Corinne has been the owner and manager of Château Margaux since 1980, succeeding her father who purchased the property in 1977. She has been the guiding light behind this great First Growth, bringing its reputation to the very highest level, maintaining tradition, yet embracing modernity. She is a highly respected business-woman and a mother of three.
Where were you born?
What was your best memory growing up?
My nanny's Scottish breakfasts.
What did you want to be when you grew up?
A veterinarian, a neurosurgeon, a conductor or a skiing champion. I'm afraid I failed all four.
Where/what did you study?
Paris University, BA in Humanities and MBA at Institut d'Etudes Politiques de Paris (Sciences Po).
Any formal wine training?
Not much, I'm afraid; my father drank ghastly Italian wines.
Who was your mentor?
What was the best advice you ever received?
Know that you know nothing (Socrates).
What instantly brings a smile to your face?
A baby, a puppy or a nice piece of music.
Outside wine, what is your passion?
Music, sports, photography and reading.
What was the last music you downloaded?
I have so much already. Wiz Khalifa's "We Dem Boyz" and, for the hundredth time, Beethoven's 7th Symphony, for its second movement, led by Herbert von Karajan: so much suffering and pain.
CHÂTEAU MARGAUX'S NEW CELLAR DESIGNED BY NORMAN FOSTER.
What's your guilty secret?
My sweet tooth.
What “addiction” would you most like to give up?
What are you craving right now?
A great 2015 vintage, in celebration of our 200 years of architecture, from Louis Combes to Lord Norman Foster, in tribute to a great wine.
Who was the first person you spoke to today?
My husband, quickly followed by my Beagles!
Early to rise, late to bed; burn the candle at both ends?
Quite the opposite: reading in bed very late at night and sleeping in the next morning . . . when possible!
How do you keep in shape?
Not as much as I would like to: walking, biking, skiing and watersports.
Diet or eat everything?
Eat everything, unfortunately, and no allergies.
What are you reading now?
Fatima Bhutto's "The Shadow of the Crescent Moon."
Favourite place to vacation?
Greece; whether on a boat or in the family house.
Favourite hotel in the world?
Four Seasons, New York.
Favourite restaurant in the world?
A restaurant by the beach on a Greek island, or a hot dog in New York, to be enjoyed sitting on the steps leading up to the Met.
Favourite restaurant locally?
The local brasserie with the best oysters.
Favourite city to visit?
The one that takes you direct to your destination. No stopovers.
Favourite wine/vintage from your winery?
Knowing that I will never ever see again the people who have counted the most in my earlier life and who are now gone. Eternity.
I wish I knew. Could you tell me? In the meantime, getting along and sharing so many things with my three children.