Alan Rickman got his big break alongside Bruce Willis in Die Hard at the age of 42. Julia Child didn’t release her first cookbook until she was 50. Arianna Huffington founded The Huffington Post at age 55. Sometimes it takes a little while for the stars to align.
Jean-Claude Vidal (pictured above) grew up in Châteauneuf-du-Pape, earning pocket money working for winemakers.
His school friends, such as the legendary Henri Bonneau, soon inherited family vineyards, but without such an obvious path into winemaking himself, Vidal trained as an architect.
Eventually, he moved to Toulouse, where the prospects were better.
Scroll down to see Matt Walls’ tasting notes and scores for seven Domaine du Banneret wines
There were however some vineyards in the family on his mother’s side, and when the owners retired without children, an opportunity presented itself.
However long buried, dreams have a habit of swiftly reigniting given the barest hint of oxygen. At the age of 50, he acquired the plots, bought some secateurs and returned to Châteauneuf-du-Pape.