Notebook

Marin – In charge of technological innovation

“THE ONLY THING THAT WILL NEVER CHANGE IS THE TERROIR”

Can you present your part at Calon Ségur?

I joined the château Calon Ségur in September 2019 as the person in charge of technological innovation. It means that I go along with the teams of the château on every possible lead of improvement of practices and equipment, in the vineyard as well as the cellar, keeping in touch with interesting and relevant techniques, that can come from other areas (food processing, industry) in order to see how we can adapt them in our own field that is viticulture or oenology.

What is your background?

I am 25 years old and I come from Brittany. I followed a training course of agronomist at Bordeaux Science Agro during 3 years, specialized AgroTIC, a branch well connected to new technologies. I followed my third year on block release in Cognac, and then after my graduation I spent a few months in New-Zealand, before coming back in June 2019. I wasn’t destined to the wine world at first, I would rather picture myself applying my training into big scale farming in Australia or Canada, that are traditionally more sensitive to new technologies than viticulture. But Calon Ségur is one of the properties at the cutting edge on this topic and the idea of collaborating with a Grand Cru Classé this prestigious thrilled me.

"Some may think that the world of wine is conservative, but in an estate like Calon, we are not afraid to put new technologies at the service of wine improvement."

On what topics precisely do you work on at Calon Ségur?

We have multiple work leads. With the vineyard manager, Lisa Gustafsson, who followed the same training as I did two years earlier, we first aim at reducing the use of phytosanitary products by optimizing the spraying system on the tractors thanks to very precise GPS. We also work in partnership with companies and labs on methods of yield estimation on the vineyard thanks to image processing. Finally, we run research on the reduction of sulfur use, especially thanks to the use of high intensity pulsed light that has disinfectant virtues.

So the world of wine is compatible with innovation?

Some may think that the world of wine is conservative, but in an estate like Calon, we are not afraid to put new technologies at the service of wine improvement. Having enough knowledge of these technologies to sort what’s true or false and distinguish good applications is all it takes. Nowadays, we are being watched on our practices and some come and ask for advice. I carry a very rewarding job in all outlooks, which allows me to border on very different expertise, always explore new ideas and new tools to help the company improve. But we have to keep in mind that we work in a Grand Cru Classé which main goal is to make the best wine possible in respect of some tradition. The only thing that will never change is the terroir, this is where it all starts from. The rest is additional.