The face of Chateau Margaux – 59-year old Paul Pontallier who had been battling cancer for some time, expired yesterday on March 28.
After studying oneology at the University of Bordeaux, Pontallier joined the first growth estate, Château Margaux, in 1983 and worked closely with advisor Emile Peynaud. Before Margaux, he also taught oenology at the Catholic University of Santiago in Chile for a while. In 1990, he was appointed as sole managing and technical director of the estate.
His solid partnership with estate owner Corinne Mentzelopoulos that lasted more than 30 years was “a pleasure to behold,” to quote Jancis Robinson, who knew him well. Known for his personal charm and impeccable style, and flawless English, Pontallier brought in innovative changes at Margaux like outfitting bottles with anti-counterfeiting measures and introducing organic and biodynamic techniques. The wine world will deeply miss this gentle person who worked so passionately to maintain the essence and cause of wine. Stay blessed Paul!