I have an affinity for places, cultures and people, together with a simple life philosophy which is that Life is a series of accidents. If one is lucky, they have more good accidents than bad ones. I ended up living in South East Asia and sailing the South China Seas and South Pacific due to a flat tire on a motorcycle that I hitched a ride on. I ended up living in Sapporo, Japan by accident, where I met my wife. I ended up in Sonoma by chance, where I have been making wine for over thirty years.
Added to my winemaking career, in 1984 I started an export company, American/California Terroirs. With a belief that my winemaker colleagues were making world class wines, I resumed traveling the world and meeting people, this time to introduce them to our wines. When I sold California Terroirs in 2011, we were shipping to 15 countries, working with about 100 brands (including a fair number of 90-100 point wines each vintage) and selling to some of the top importers in Asia and Europe.
Along the way, Patrick Campbell of Laurel Glen/Tierra Divina Vineyards decided to look into Chile for a Cabernet Sauvignon we were making. We stopped in Argentina, discovered Malbec and never left. Like most things in the course of my life, stumbling into Argentina was an accident, and as luck would have it, another very good one.
Though I've had business relationships in Argentina for decades, our project in La Consulta is my first wine venture there, or anywhere.
For me the particular pleasure of this venture is the spectrum of expertise within the group: What a learning experience! Also, the laser focus on quality is a compelling dimension that is an exciting foundation for our future development.
Born in Belgium in 1957 – became affected by the wine virus as a juvenile (I knew the 1855 classification and the Burgundian cru classification by heart at 16… in fact, not really important, I noticed afterwards) – after studying Art School in Gent and working as a sculptor at various historic restorations, became professionally involved in wine at the age of 25. Started the Vincent wine agency together with my wife in 1986 – passion and originality were always the keywords in our selections with a special focus on southern France, Italy and California.
I decided to invest in Argentina for several reasons, first of all the partners were high quality wine people, who had been in Mendoza as along as any other American group making Malbec. Secondly, when we entered the business the land prides were substantially lower than Napa Valley or France, so I felt it was a low risk investment.
My oldest son is a sommelier who spent four years in Italy and taught me some of the nuances of wine, and because of that I started collecting wine, which I have thoroughly enjoyed. I spent my business life in the investment business and was a partner in a large money management firm in Los Angeles, where I was in charge of the marketing and sales for the firm. I am plan on helping Adelante become a well know Malbec in the US.
Born in Mendoza I have felt passion for vineyards and wines since I was a child, and I have focused on the legal aspects of vineyards and wineries during my 14 year career as a lawyer and consultant in Mendoza. For me, the Adelante project stands out because of the character of the vineyard and the remarkable team effort in the grape growing and wine making. I know we are on a trajectory to making an awesome Adelante that all will enjoy as much as I enjoy the process.