The Proust Q&A: Jacques Thienpont

Jacques Thienpont is the Belgian owner of Le Pin in Pomerol, one of the world’s most revered red wines made from 100% Merlot, named after a pine tree that grows near the winery. He bought the 2.7-hectare estate in 1979 for €1m francs. He also owns neighbouring Right Bank château Vieux Château Certan. He lives between Belgium and Pomerol with his English wife, Fiona Morrison MW.

is your idea of perfect happiness?

Being with my wife and children.

What is your greatest fear? 

Succumbing to illness, or something happening to my children.

Who do you most admire?

King Albert II, King of the Belgians.

What is your greatest extravagance?

Shooting.

What is your current state of mind? 
Satisfied, relaxed and content.

What is the quality you most like in a woman? 

Intelligence, a kindred spirit.

Which words or phrases do you most overuse?

Every morning when I wake up, I feel as if I’m on holiday.

What or who is the greatest love of your life?

My wife.

When and where were you happiest?
In my garden in Belgium, or in my vineyard in Pomerol.

Which talent would you most like to have?

To be more cultural.

If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?

My teeth.

What do you consider your greatest achievement?

Building up Le Pin.

Where would you most like to live?

Where I am living now.

What is your most treasured possession?

My wife and children.

What is your most marked characteristic?

Simplicity.

Who are your favorite writers?

Anyone who writes about architecture.

Who is your hero of fiction?

Tintin.

What is it that you most dislike?

Hypocrites.

What is your greatest regret?

Fortunately, I don’t have any.

What is your motto?

Simple and distingué – simple and distinguished.

Who would be your ideal dinner party guests and what wines would you serve them?

My grandfather, Georges Thienpont, Swiss sculptor Alberto Giacometti and American architect Frank Lloyd Wright – I’d serve them Le Pin and Vieux Chateau Certan.

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