Born in Bordeaux and educated in the U.S., Sacha Lichine has worked in every aspect of the Wine industry from production to final sale. He began working at his family’s former properties, Chateau Prieure Lichine and Chateau Lascombes during the summers of his youth from working the vines to dressing and selling the final product in the estates’ retail shops.
Sacha subsequently established, at the University level in America, a summertime job, between 1978 and 1982; Sacha Lichine International which was a luxury wine tour business to France for educationally hungry Americans that consisted of 3 week immersion trips through all major wine villages and appellations in France as well as dining at the greatest gastronomic Michelin starred Restaurants within these regions.
Sacha additionally worked at Anthony’s Pier 4 Restaurant in Boston as a Sommelier between 1979 and 1982. Following this job, Sacha worked as a Salesperson and Buyer at C. Pappas & Company, a wine wholesaler/ distributor in Massachusetts between 1982 and 1983.
In 1983 Sacha formed 2 ventures; Sacha Lichine Estate Selections focussing on Estates & Domaines from the Rhone to Burgundy whose wines were then sold to Distributors throughout America.
During the same year a wine Brokerage and distribution company, Caribbean Chateaux, was established on Saint Lucia to promote and sell his selections to all major luxury hotels and resorts in over 18 islands in the Caribbean and operated until 2001.
In 1985 Sacha was hired as an Imported Wine & Key Account Specialist in Beverly Hills for Southern Wines & Spirits of California. A defining moment in Sacha’s career came about in 1987 when he started running Prieure Lichine at age 27. Additionally, Sacha worked with his father Alexis Lichine to update the renowned Encyclopedia of Wines & Spirits.
In 1990 Sacha started a negociant business in Margaux, Borvin, which he still operates focusing on selecting the best wines from Bordeaux and the south of France and in 1992 Sacha became a Negociant in Burgundy forming Sacha Lichine & Asscociates. Recognizing the importance of innovation in an increasingly varied wine industry around the world, Sacha developed a line of new world wines from France, Sacha Lichine International/ Vins Sans Frontiers which has roots in the selection of small Domaines, Vins de Pays and Burgundian wines under his name and distributed by the wine company Borvin Sacha Lichine International. The company also has a range of blended wines from the Languedoc and varietals from other regions in France marketed under Sacha’s name.
A pivotal moment for Sacha was his 2006 acquisition of Chateau d’Esclans in Provence. In keeping with his uncanny sense of innovation, Sacha felt that Rosé had strong developmental opportunities to become more serious from a production standpoint in addition to being served and consumed more broadly. The result to this foresight energized by an abiding passion for making and promoting great wine, has resulted in building a world class brand, Whispering Angel, Chateau d’Esclans Rock Angel, Chateau d’Esclans Les Clans and Chateau d’Esclans Garrus while providing a strong contribution to unprecedented growth within the Rosé category.
Patrick Léon has unparalleled experience in making among the great wines of the world. A Bordeaux native with an extensive education in Oenology, Patrick studied this subject in his home town as well as business management.
In 1972 Patrick joined Alexis Lichine & Company in Bordeaux beginning as a Purchasing Manager for its French wines. Additionally he held positions as a Technical Manager & Co General Manager of Château Lascombes Crus Classé in Margaux & Château Castéra in Lespare-Médoc. Patrick also worked with Alexis Lichine on developing content for his books. These positions went through the mid-eighties at which point Patrick began to work with Baron Phillipe de Rothschild for over two decades.
For Baron Phillipe de Rothschild, he would serve as a Managing Director, overseeing technical departments including the company’s vineyards and winemaking facilities for Château Mouton Rothschild, d’Armaillhac, Clerc Milon, le Petit Mouton, Aile d’Argent, Opus One in California, Almaviva in Chile, Domaine de Lambert & Baron d’Arques in the Languedoc, Mouton Cadet in Bordeaux as well as other wines in the BPHR portfolio including Escudo Rojo in Chile. Patrick’s wide breadth of experience and knowledge has established the foundation to becoming a consulting oenologist and working with Sacha Lichine in this capacity making all the Lichine wines as great as they are.
Bertrand Léon, our Technical Director since 2011, is a graduate of Bordeaux Agriculture, where he studied Viticulture and Oenology. Having grown up in the wine business under the watchful guidance of his father, Patrick Léon, who served as Chateau d’Esclans’ founding Consulting Oenologist, Bertrand grew up participating in various summer jobs at Chateau Mouton Rothschild and Chateau Fieuzal. Today he runs his family property, Chateau Les Trois Croix.
Jean-Claude Neu, our Cellar Master since 2006, is a graduate of Lycée Agricole de Hyères, where he studied Viticulture and Oenology. He began working at Chateau d’Esclans straight out of his studies and had an opportunity to evolve with it over the past several decades particularly since Sacha Lichine’s acquisition in 2006. Today Jean Claude oversees the day to day management of our Cellars.