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AXA Millésimes appoints new technical director of Pichon Baron

AXA Millésimes has announced the appointment of Pierre Montégut as technical director of the Pauillac Second Grand Cru Classé estate Château Pichon Baron.

Montégut, who is already technical director of the Premier Cru Classé estate Château Suduiraut in Sauternes, will replace Jean-René Matignon who last year announced his intention to step down after more than 30 years in the role. He will formally take on his new responsibilities from the end of April when Matignon retires.

Having worked together with Montégut since his arrival at Suduiraut in 2004, Christian Seely, MD of owner AXA Millésimes, said that during this time, Montégut had been responsible for some of the ‘greatest wines’ Suduiraut has produced.   

‘He has achieved this through a passion and dedication of similar intensity to that of Jean-René, with a similar commitment to the idea of achieving such outstanding results through the creation of a harmonious and happy work environment, enabling the team at Suduiraut to devote themselves to the pursuit of excellence both in the vineyard and in the chai,’ he said.

Seely added he was confident that Montégut would undertake his new role with ‘dedication and passion’ equal to that of Matignon.   

‘Pierre is very much his own man, as all great winemakers must be, and although part of his role is to ensure continuity, in which I am sure he will succeed, it will very much be part of his mission to continue to strive each year, as he always has at Suduiraut, and as Jean-René has always done at Pichon, to go always further in the pursuit of excellence in the work to be accomplished, and of greatness in the wines that will be made,’ he said.

Also expressing his regret at the retirement of Matignon, Seely continued: ‘Jean-René has done so much for Pichon Baron, and it has been such a great and unforgettable pleasure to work him.

‘I am extremely happy to see Pierre arrive in Pauillac, and I know that Jean-René shares my satisfaction that the great work will continue with the same team as today, under Pierre’s brilliant direction and outstandingly competent leadership.’

Matignon served as technical director of Château Pichon Baron for 36 years. ‘I have worked with Jean-René at Pichon Baron since 2001 and during this time he has taken Pichon to ever greater heights,’ said Seely.

‘It has always been a huge pleasure to work with him on this wonderful property, and to share his passion for the place and for the great wines it can produce, so it was with great regret that I learned of his decision to retire.’

AXA Millésimes acquired Château Pichon Baron in Pauillac in 1987 alongside a property in Burgundy, Domaine de l’Arlot.

In 2020, AXA Millésimes agreed the sale of Pomerol estate Château Petit-Village to Château Beauregard, marking one of the largest deals to take place in the appellation in recent years.

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