1980

CORINNE MENTZELOPOULOS: IN HER FATHER'S FOOTSTEPS

The wine world that was so alarmed by the arrival of a “Hellene in the Médoc”, redoubled its concerns on the death of André Mentzelopoulos. This paradox is explained in reality by the fact that André Mentzelopoulos had convinced even the most pessimistic doubters by his energy and clear vision that, put into the service of his passion for Château Margaux, had, with almost spectacular speed, re-established the quality of the wine and the reputation of the estate.
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The wine world that was so alarmed by the arrival of a “Hellene in the Médoc”, redoubled its concerns on the death of André Mentzelopoulos. This paradox is explained in reality by the fact that André Mentzelopoulos had convinced even the most pessimistic doubters by his energy and clear vision that, put into the service of his passion for Château Margaux, had, with almost spectacular speed, re-established the quality of the wine and the reputation of the estate.

His daughter, Corinne Mentzelopoulos, was immediately ready for the challenge. On the death of her father she was already established in the family group as management controller at Primistères, the company that manages the Félix Potin company. Surrounded by the team that her father had chosen, she followed the investment defined by the latter, so that Margaux was ready to take up another challenge, that of the extraordinary explosion in worldwide demand for Bordeaux wines from 1982. The Americans were the first to get enthusiastic for the classified first growths, quickly joined by the more traditional connoisseurs in Great Britain and Germany, followed by the Japanese, enthusiasts in Hong Kong or Singapore, the Russians, the Chinese, the Indians, the Brazilians….

The wines of Bordeaux, even though they’ve been appreciated for centuries, had never known such success; enthusiasts from all over the world came to visit, taste, compare and comment.

Bordeaux has been blessed with a succession of great vintages with the true pinnacle of success being the 2009 and the 2010. At the same time, the Félix Potin company was transformed, the stores and the property were given up, and the group – from now on Exor – became the majority shareholder in Perrier at the time the world market leader for mineral water. So, Corinne Mentzelopoulos decided to find support in the development of a group which it seemed unwise to manage alone. At the beginning of the 1990s, Corinne Mentzelopoulos found an associate in the Agnelli family, then directed by Gianni Agnelli, the president of Fiat. This association lasted about ten years and, in 2003, when the Agnelli Group decided to dispose of the Château Margaux shares, Corinne Mentzelopoulos bought them immediately thereby becoming the only shareholder in the estate.