对于“最年轻的”这个头衔，刚满30岁的Erwan Faiveley微笑地点头，提醒我注意这个词的时效性，“更年轻的”随时会出现。这场比较级与最高级较量的意义并不大，但我却看到了一个自信、谦和、优雅的Erwan Faiveley，法莱丽酒庄的第七代掌门人。
在事事讲究国际化的今天，Erwan Faiveley的同行们都积极走出布根地，纷纷在布根地以外甚至法国之外进行大手笔的投资。Erwan Faiveley却认为长袖难舞，“布根地已经够我忙了，我的根在布根地”。令人惊讶的是，与很多酒庄不同，尽管法莱丽在国际上声名显赫，最大最重要的市场却是法国本土，这与中国的“一屋不扫，何以扫天下”似乎颇为相通。“人生有趣的东西还有很多，我还要去冲浪、开飞机、旅游、在巴黎好好呆上几天，生活是用来享受的，葡萄酒也是，特别是布根地的葡萄酒。”Erwan Faiveley身上有着传统法国男人的特质，崇尚只有享受生活，才能优雅生活，也道出了他热爱葡萄酒的玄机。
有人说，将兴趣与事业结合是人生第一乐事。然而，Erwan Faiveley身家的主要来源却不是法莱丽酒庄，而是年营业额高达8.5亿欧元的著名运输集团法维莱，集团每年的利润是法莱丽酒庄的6倍。尽管如此，Erwan Faiveley的大部分时间还是放在了法莱丽酒庄。正因为有了强大的资金后盾，Erwan Faiveley对酿酒的投入也就可以几乎不计成本。他坚持参与到酿酒的每个环节，在他看来，一般的酿酒师注重酿出公式化的零风险葡萄酒，而酿酒环节有了老板的参与，可以进行任何的尝试，大可不必担心被风险绑住手脚。
When one first sets eyes on the ethereal looks of Erwan Faiveley you are immediately struck by a man who appears as if born to be successful, almost regal. He has allowed himself the privilege to make extensive renovations at his winery including a switch of focus to white wines, the recruitment of a new technical director and the instillation of the first set of new wooden tanks. All these along side the general expansion of the Domaine.
Born in July 1979, Erwan Faiveley is the youngest director of a Domaine in Burgundy. However, at the age of 10 he tried his first drop of wine, at 18 joined Faiveley, graduated from the Ecole Superieure de Commerce at 23 and succeeded the whole Domaine at 25.
It is one thing to say youngest and, judging from the look on Erwan’s face, it is not the first time he has heard this. He himself prefers to be called ‘younger’ rather than ‘youngest’. Younger signifies an ongoing connection from generation to generation which is really what this self-confident, modest, elegant man represents… Erwan Faiveley, the 7th generation of Domaine Faiveley.
I am a Burgundian
To better give you an impression of Erwan Faiveley’s wealth: in Burgundy, Faiveley is one of only two wineries who posses a vineyard named by their family, the other, of course, being Romanée-Conti. Faiveley is also the only winery to own two of the three grand crus namely Musigny, Romanée-Conti and Chambertain Clos de Beze. Faiveley is also the largest single owner in Gevrey-Chambertain of whose 300 hectares total they own 15.
Following international trends today, many of Erwan Faiveleys peers are moving away from Burgundy and investing heavily outside the area, even outside France. He, however, insists on keeping focused on Burgundy. “Things in Burgundy keep me busy enough; moreover, I am a Burgundian.” One may find it surprising that, while enjoying a famous reputation throughout the world, Faiveleys largest market continues to be France herself. This is reminiscent of the Chinese saying ‘to sweep your house before conquering the world’. “There are many things that interest me in life: windsurfing, [plane] flying, travelling and spending a few days in Paris. I have to enjoy my life! Wine is also created to be enjoyed, especially the wine in Burgundy.” Erwan Faiveley is traditionally French in this respect, in that he believes only in enjoying life can one have a successful life. This is also why he loves wine.
Adventure boldly and make wine carefully
It is certainly very fortunate to be able to blend ones passion and career but Erwan Faiveleys wealth does not come from Domaine Faiveley but rather from Faiveley Transport. Every year the profit from Faiveley Transport is six times that of the winery. Although the profit is greater in this side of the business Erwan spends most of his time dealing with the winery but thanks to this formidable backing he can invest heavily in the wine. He takes part in every step of the wines creation because he believes that if the owner is involved adventures can be taken and miracles created.
“We never reduce the yield or pander to the market. Land in Burgundy is very limited.” In reference to doubts about Burgundy’s rarity and high price tag, he explains that for example “in Musigny we only have 200 vines, therefore can only produce a maximum of 150 bottles per vintage”. As for the quality of the wine, Faiveley has its own style and only makes wines which can be aged. The time the white wines spend in oak is 14-16 months, almost equal to the 16-18 months the reds receive. This seems only rational when we consider that one of the worlds finest white wines is created by Faiveley, that being Corton-Charlemagne Grand Cru.
There is a Chinese proverb which states ‘from rich to poor takes three generations’. This, however, does not seem to apply to Erwan Faiveley who is now entering his fifth year in the family business and is also the seventh generation to have done so. When one steps foot in to Burgundy you may have the impression that time stands still and tradition holds firm. However, a new generation have arrived who are well educated, savvy and innovative. It is up to this new generation to safeguard the past while creating new wonders in the future.