The vineyard will be managed and advised by an experienced team of senior management as follows:
David Banford – Executive Director & Founder
David Banford has spent most of his career developing entrepreneurial ventures both in the UK and in the US with 20+ years in the wine trade. In the UK in 1970, he pioneered the development of loyalty cards with the launch of Countdown, and in 1976 went to the USA to develop The Wine Society of America which he floated on the NASDAQ in 1991. He then returned to the UK to launch Card Protection Plan (CPP) and subsequently the Sportscard Credit Card company with Sir John Beckwith, which floated on the AIM market in 2000, and was sold to UK Betting and then to BSkyB. He launched The Wine Society of India in 2006 which was sold to Laithwaites Wine in 2010.
David has been based in St Emilion for three years engaged in a full-time search for a suitable chateau and vineyard, will live in a self-contained flat alongside the chateau, and will work full-time for the company.
Chris Scanlon – Finance Director & Founder
Chris Scanlon is a graduate Chartered Accountant from Price Waterhouse with 20 years’ experience in blue chip companies across a range of sectors, including catering, retail, and telecommunications. As Finance Director of Thames Trains, Chris led the management buyout from British Rail. Following a successful exit in 1998, he moved into the booming internet sector. Since 2003 he has developed a portfolio career, supporting entrepreneurs and owner managed businesses.
He has a long-standing interest in wine and speaks French.
Louis Mitjavile – Winemaker & Founder
Louis Mitjavile - known as Loulou - runs the operations for his family’s three estates: Tertre Roteboeuf, Roc de Cambes and L’ Aurage. All three of these estates recently scored between 17/20 and 18/20 in Jancis Robinson’s review of 2015 en primeur wines. He has day to day responsibility for both the viticultural and winemaking operations of those estates. He and his team will provide a turn-key solution for the production of the best possible wines from Chateau LeConte. Loulou will also be responsible for selecting and supervising all sub-contracted and vineyard operations.
Kris Engle – Hospitality and Events Manager
Kris has 30 years’ experience in the hospitality and event management industry. After graduating from the University of Michigan, Kris worked for Westin Hotels in San Francisco responsible for international sales. This led to a transfer to London to establish European joint ventures and other marketing partnerships around the world for Rosenbluth International Travel. Later she was appointed European Director for Seabourn Cruise Line with responsibility for opening offices in UK, Germany and South Africa. Event management was always a key part of her role.
Steven Spurrier - 'Friends of LeConte'
Steven Spurrier started L’Academie du Vin in 1973, France’s first private wine school, and went on to stage the famous Judgement of Paris wine tasting of 1976, which has now been immortalized in the film ‘Bottleshock’. Steven is a founder, together with Michael Broadbent, of The Christie’s Wine Course, and is consultant editor for Decanter Magazine. He is a regular judge on the international wine tasting circuit and currently holds the position of Chairman of the Decanter World Wine awards and the co-chairman of the Decanter Asia Wine awards. Steven was the co-founder of The Wine Society of India in 2006 and will host events for Chateau LeConte owners.