Chris Wilmers will succeed his late father, Bob, as president of Château Haut-Bailly.
Chris Wilmers is set to take over as president of Château Haut-Bailly and Château Le Pape following the death of his father, Bob Wilmers, in December 2017.
Wilmers, 45, has been on the board of directors of Haut-Bailly since his father bought the Pessac Léognan estate in 1998.
He grew up in New York and has spent much of his career in environmental science, and was named Conservationist of the Year by the Santa Cruz Land Trust in 2014.
Speaking at his father’s funeral, 45 year old Chris Wilmers said, ‘20 years ago, I was vaguely intrigued by the idea of a winery, but I was just starting graduate school at Berkeley half way around the world in California.
‘What business did I have serving on the board of directors of a winery in France? But because it was my dad, and he was asking, I came. And year after year, my visits became more interesting and more enjoyable – I learned the wine business.’
Director Véronique Sanders will continue in her role overseeing the running of the estate.
Wilmers lives in Santa Cruz with his wife Serena Rivera and their two sons Theo and Dylan, where he is professor of ecology in the environmental studies department of Santa Cruz university, specialising in biodiversity.