Romain Mercier, our Technical Director Assistant in charge of the vineyard, arrived in February 2023 and is first and foremost an enthusiast. From an early age, he has worked in the vineyards alongside his father. Find out more about this dynamic and ambitious technician, whose aim is to carry on the family tradition while leaving his own mark.
Can you describe your job?
My job is above all about management, listening and adaptability. My job consists of managing the vineyard, supervising the teams, managing the phytosanitary products and controlling the quality of the work carried out in the vineyard. My aim is to ensure the smooth running of the vineyard.
Could you tell us why you chose the wine business?
Wine is a heritage for me. My father owns a vineyard on the right bank. Since I was very young, I’ve been working in the vineyard, learning alongside him, and I’m passionate about this job. At first, managing the vineyard on a day-to-day basis was just a bit of fun, but it soon turned into a passion. Today, I’m proud to have turned my passion into my job.
What are the qualities of a Technical Director Assistant in charge of the vineyard?
There are several important aspects to my job, but the most crucial is to be reactive. I always need to be ready to deal with the unexpected, solve any problems that arise and manage unexpected changes. Another key aspect of my job is management, which goes hand in hand with teamwork. My job is all about relationships. I have to adapt myself to my teams, listen to them and guide them on a daily basis. Patience is therefore essential, you have to take the necessary time and be diplomatic. Open-mindedness is also at the heart of my profession. I’m constantly ready to test new technologies in the vineyards. I listen to other people’s advice and I’m open to different ideas, and always adapting myself.
Tell us about your daily life in the vineyard
Every morning, I’m responsible for opening the workshop and all the facilities before the winemakers arrive. Usually, I take care of traceability by recording staff attendance and noting the tasks to be carried out for the day, as well as their timing. I start the tractors and adjust them to the plots with the help of the drivers. Every day, I make a tour of the vineyard to make sure that everything is running smoothly, that the vines are healthy and that the winemakers are doing well. I also deal with any vine-related issues that may arise on a daily basis.
How do you see viticulture in the vineyards of tomorrow?
For me, the vineyard of tomorrow is a vineyard that moves with its time. It’s a vineyard that makes use of modernity and technology to achieve ever more precise and sustainable viticulture. The vineyard of the future looks like a desert, where nothing is added or taken away, where nature expresses itself freely while being controlled. Our viticultural methods are changing and will continue to do so as a result of global warming and its consequences. It is no longer possible to work in the vineyards in 2023 as we did 10 or 15 years ago. We must constantly adapt and strive to preserve our vineyards.
What’s the best piece of professional advice you’ve been given that you can pass on?
If we don’t take risks in life and expose ourselves a little, we’ll never progress. This echoes my previous answer about the need to take risks in order to constantly progress.
Finally, what is your favorite vintage?
The best vintage for me is 2018. It’s a symbolic vintage on a personal level, as it represents the completion of my first significant professional contract, marking the success of my years of study. From a technical point of view, it’s an exceptional vintage that will keep for a long time.