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“ The Estate’s wines have always had a reputation as quality wines. ” tired for ten years, with serious problems

had a lot of talent and practiced his pro-

accomplished man of the vineyard. He

in his eyes, and later his lungs. In the end

fession with a lot of heart and determina-

built on what he already knew how to do,

he succumbed to heart disease.

tion. He made marvellous wines.

having worked for 6 years on the Estate

I’m thinking in particular about the What was your role in relation to your

1985 vintage. A wonderful vintage that

For the administrative side of things,

husband’s position as mayor ?

won recognition from the broader public

however, he relied on me. It was a new

Michèle — I attended certain inaugu-

and from the specialist press who praised

field for me, and at the outset it was far

rations and social events in the town

his work more widely.

from easy. I remember that Jean Grivot

with my husband as part of his duties

René, his grandfather, stayed by

– my husband’s best friend – often came

as mayor of Vosne. After his death, I

Philippe’s side until his death in 1986.

to lend a hand, and to show me how to

became a municipal councillor for two

In the mornings they would open the

fill out the different customs declarations,

terms, for social welfare. That was a very

post together. During the day, he would

and so on.

rewarding experience for me.

regularly pass by the vat room, offering

I managed the whole hosting aspect

his advice to Philippe, particularly on the

during harvest time, as I’d already done

How did the transition of the Estate

occasion of his first grape harvest, and his

in Pierre’s day. Hot meals, snacks out

from René to Pierre take place ?

first ‘solo’ vinifications. Even if they some-

among the vines, beds, hot wine, and so

Michèle — When Pierre took over the

times disagreed, René was very proud of

on. About thirty people during harvest

Domaine, he was barely twenty years

Philippe’s wines and accomplishments at

week, and about forty during the Paulée

old, and he was the only boy. My father-

the head of the Domaine.

festivities.

in-law retired from the Domaine fairly

Philippe had clearly been called to

As far as the wines are concerned,

quickly, transferring responsibilities to

winemaking as a passion, and he wor-

Philippe knew what he was doing and

my husband.

ked with great determination on the

I didn’t give him advice. However, I did

Claire — Something that few people

Estate’s wines. Beginning in 1985, there

share my opinion on the wines when

know is that our father also studied law.

was a succession of superb vintages that

it came to opening one of his earlier

Seeing that his son was interested in

allowed Philippe’s talents to fully express

vintages.

becoming a lawyer, our grandfather René

themselves. What would be the characteristics

began to sell off vineyards. Pierre, realising that a career as a lawyer would mean

What was it like to co-manage the

shared by Domaine René Engel’s wines

the end of the “Domaine René Engel”,

Estate with Philippe ?

over this trilogy of winemakers ?

then switched to winemaking, taking up

Michèle — At Philippe’s side, I threw

Michèle — The Estate’s wines have

the succession of his father at Vosne-

myself into the work for the Domaine. He

always had a reputation as quality wines.

Romanée out of ‘filial duty’.

took care of the vines and the wine-ma-

It is true, however, that Philippe’s wines

king. He also welcomed clients to the

have become more internationally

Estate for tastings.

renowned than those of his father and

Tell me about Philippe and the renewal of the Estate.

— 28 —

by his father’s side.

Upon the death of my husband, the

grandfather. He had a different way of

Michèle — Philippe had always been a

transition from Pierre to Philippe took

working – the pruning of the vines, the

true passionate about vines and wine. He

place quite naturally, and he became an

use of a sorting-table, stainless steel vats,

Profile for Baghera/wines

Domaine René Engel, The Trilogy. A Homage to René, Pierre & Philippe.  

100 years after Domaine René Engel’s foundation, 1156 bottles, magnums, jeroboams and a methuselah, originating directly from the Domaine’s...

Domaine René Engel, The Trilogy. A Homage to René, Pierre & Philippe.  

100 years after Domaine René Engel’s foundation, 1156 bottles, magnums, jeroboams and a methuselah, originating directly from the Domaine’s...