How did you come to develop your passion for wine?
With a great deal of hesitation. My grandfather and father were both epicureans. There was always a bottle of wine on the table. Of course, with my grandfather, it was always a Burgundy and with my father, a Bordeaux! Now, I like Burgundy just as much as Bordeaux, and the white wines from the Pays de Vaud. At home, we had a tradition of drinking a glass of wine with dinner.
Do the worlds of wine and watches arouse the same feelings for you?
There are parallels between the two – the same fascination, meticulous manual work, and the sense of quality and patience that are essential. With wine, we are dependent on nature, we must submit to it. But then man has not succeeded in controlling time either! The winemaker only has one chance in the year to make a great wine; in watchmaking, there is a little more margin. Watches can be passed on to the next generation, wine only sometimes. I have mixed feelings about this, because there are very few wines that can be kept for more than a generation without declining in quality.
Why did you choose a biodynamic approach?
First, because nature’s resources must be used carefully, and then also because wine does not need a lot of chemicals in order to be good. Many of the world’s greatest wines are biodynamic – take the wines from the Domaine de la Romanée Conti, for example. I do not of course wish to make a religion out of it, but if I can respect nature, then I will do so willingly.