After a really really really early start, we headed off to the Bordeaux Management School for the 40 minute coach ride out to Margaux - Chateau Kirwan.
Great to finally see the famous gravel soils that produce the wines of Bordeaux. I will post a film shot in the vineyards later.
Before lunch we were given a brief overview of the programme. We then met our mentor - Mr. Yves Bénard who is the current president of the OIV & INAO organisations, after being Möet et Chandon chairman for over 20 years. I sat next to him at lunch, it will be interesting to be able to draw on his experience and ideas over the next 2 years.
Lunch was four-course affair paired with Kirwan’s distribution company’s white, their second label and then the Kirwan ‘78. It definitely made up for not having dinner yesterday!
The afternoon ended with us working in groups to begin to identify our wishes and expectations from the course. We were being told to be open minded and keep in mind that as our group is so international (literally people from all over the world are participating), we will experience cultural differences and we should be tolerant of this. In the very next sentence we were then reminded that this is a French programme and will be taught in the French way - sounds like a general get out clause if you ask me. Saw a couple of gallic shrugs from the professors which was curious - and yes, the timetable for the next 2 weeks was amended yet again today.
Got back to the appartments at 7pm and went for a glass of wine with some fellow students: A Canadian who is works outside of the wine industry in finance, and a Brit who works at a London fine wine merchant. We discussed our first impressions of the course, our classmates and our ideas for our thesis. My thesis idea is coming together nicely - I am actually looking forward to the academic challenge (can someone remind me of that in a couple of months please). It also fits nicely to some of the studies that the professors are involved with. I am also looking forward to the Strategic Management part of the course (especially because it is based on the teachings of my undergraduate head of business school’s teachings, so should be straightforward enough!).
Wow that all sounds very scientific doesn’t it? Tomorrow won’t be - it is all about communication & there are professional actors coming in to teach us how to act in certain situations.
We have already been given two assignments and I have a ton of work to get through to - my wines still have to sell!
Sunday is a free day and I am hoping to be able to get out to Cognac and do some tastings there. We are hoping to get a group together to book a 1. Cru tasting at a wine emporium in downtown Bordeaux whilst we are here. Also planning a bring-a-bottle party for October in London.