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Christine Lurton joins family firm but denies succession plan

Christine Lurton de Caix has been appointed as ambassador for the most prestigious chateaux within her family company, Vignobles Andre Lurton, but denied that the move is part of a succession plan.

Lurton de Caix (pictured) stepped down as director of Chateau Dauzac this summer, when French insurance company MAIF bought the Lurtons’ 42% stake in the estate to become sole owner.

Her new role will see her act as marketing and communication director for Chateaux Couhins-Lurton and La Louviere, both in the Pessac Leognan appellation.

She is the first family member to return to work directly in Vignobles Andre Lurton since her brothers Francois and Jacques left to pursue their own winemaking careers in Argentina, Chile, Portugal and Uruguay.

Andre Lurton owns more than 600 hectares of vines in Bordeaux, producing 4m bottles per year with a staff of 160 people.

In 2012 the group sold 18% of its business to Credit Agricole Grands Crus, a move that was seen as an attempt to deal with family succession issues. Lurton himself has seven children in total and is celebrating his 90th birthday next month.

Although he remains a highly active figurehead for his estates, taking the lead in key decisions, he now works alongside a director general, Pascal le Faucher.

The appointment of Lurton de Caix has been met with speculation that this is the first step towards her taking the lead after her father’s eventual retirement, but she denied this strongly to Decanter.com.

‘This is still a family company,’ Lurton de Caix said, ‘and I am thrilled to be able to play a role in it. I will be representing my father at official events with the Union des Grands Crus, travelling abroad for tastings and representing the family at events with the Académie des Vins de Bordeaux and others. But, the future of the company is still very much in the hands of my father.’

Written by Jane Anson in Bordeaux

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