In 1995, after graduating with an MBA in finance at the age of 24, I arrived that September at Bordeaux's Château Giscours for a two-month “harvest experience.”
My brief visit turned out to be longer than expected. Owner Eric Albada Jelgersma, the Dutch businessman who is president of S. E. Château Giscours, asked me to stay and work a full-time job, which I accepted. To improve my wine knowledge, I then went to the Bordeaux University Institute of Oenology.
Since 1998, I have been in charge of running Giscours and Château du Tertre, both classified growths (third and fifth, respectively) in the appellation of Margaux.
In 2003, Jelgersma also became the owner of a wine estate in Italy called Caiarossa and asked me to take over its management as well. Situated on the Tuscan coast, in the heart of the Val di Cecina, the estate is farmed biodynamically. There we grow Sangiovese along with red Bordeaux and Rhône varieties, plus Chardonnay, Viognier and Petit Manseng.
To learn more about Giscours, Jelgersma and Van Beek, read The Battle of Bordeaux in our Oct. 15, 2006 issue.