Xavier Buffo, General Manager @ Château de La Rivière, Fronsac
Number of barrels in the cellar: around 800
With passion! I come from a family of farmers in the Southwest of France. We worked on several crops, including vines, which I have always loved. I was fortunate to study agronomy and enology, that allowed me to work in the wine environment.
When I was a kid, with my uncles during harvests of white grapes for Armagnac. I remember all the smells of grape musts... I also always liked to ride on tractors and harvesting machines, from the age of 7-8 years!
Since my arrival on the estate 20 years ago, everything has evolved greatly, and particularly the approach of the maturity of tannins. We are fortunate to have beautiful clay-limestone terroirs, which provide our wines with this ability to be kept and to express themselves over time.
Also, we try to open our doors to more and more people, bringing art and culture in the Château. To this end, we are co-organizing this year, from July 6th to 8th, our first festival “Confluent d'Arts” in Château de La Rivière.
Mr. Grégoire, owner at the time, had the first contact with Richard Hardillier, H&A’s co-founder. We have always surveyed closely the cost of barrels, and have had various unsatisfactory experiences. With H&A, it worked right away! Given Mr. Grégoire’s entrepreneurial experience, he knew how to trust people and good ideas. He felt that there was something positive that was going on, with serious people in front of him.
First of all, they are people, who I consider very kind and professional. Then, there were pivotal stages, when we questioned ourselves, and H&A always listened and provided very precise answers. We were able to think and build solutions together. H&A is structured to listen to its customers. That is a key point!
A relationship of quality, fidelity and loyalty.