Philippe Bascaules is to succeed the late Paul Pontallier as managing director of the First Growth estate.

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Philippe Bascaules appointed managing director of Château Margaux

Bascaules was the former estate director of Château Margaux who left to run Francis Ford Coppola’s Inglenook Winery in Rutherford Napa.

He will remain as Director of Winemaking for Inglenook, overseeing the 50 year vineyard plan that he has put in place alongside Francis and Eleanor Coppola when he arrived in 2011.

He will begin his new role at Château Margaux on March 1 2017.

“I am pleased that I can continue to oversee the winemaking at Inglenook and guide the changes I started there five years ago. Inglenook’s terroir is exceptional and I am very grateful to Francis Ford Coppola for continuing our collaboration,” said Bascaules.

“Philippe’s devotion to Inglenook has created a winery that we can pass on to our children and their children,” said Francis Ford Coppola.

“Château Margaux is Philippe’s alma mater, so it is logical and understandable to us that Philippe would be called upon to return there after the untimely passing of the wonderful Paul Pontallier.

“When Philippe was presented with the opportunity to return to Château Margaux, we were thrilled that he wished to continue working on both sides of the ocean.”

Château Margaux has not had a managing director since the death of Paul Pontallier in March 2016, although Pontallier appointed Sebastien Vergne as technical director in 2014, who will continue working alongside Bascaules.

Owner Corinne Mentzelopoulos said of the appointment, “During the 20 years he spent at the estate, we all deeply valued Philippe’s competence and wisdom. His great knowledge is an invaluable asset with which to guide and prepare the future of Château Margaux.”

“I am very honoured and I like to think that Paul Pontallier would have been happy for me to carry on his work. I am thrilled to be reunited with my former colleagues at Château Margaux and delighted to be working on the wines and vineyards of the estate” Bascaules said in the official announcement.

Bascaules was originally hired by Pontallier in 1990 and worked alongside him for 21 years. He will now be based out of Bordeaux, returning to Napa regularly.