His choice fell on a corner of Quercy, in a serene as well as sublime landscape, not far from where Nino Ferrer lived, author of an immortal song: South. In Nino Ferrer, this part of the Lot perhaps recalled his Italy. For Philippe Lejeune, it was a childhood dream.
The first life is written in the Parisian suburbs, a thousand leagues from wine. Philippe is the dunce type, barely goes to general high school. He fiddles with the calculators and, scientific baccalaureate in his pocket, ends up in a computer school. Barely a student, he created his electronics company, Galaxy, specialized in data analysis in semiconductor components.
Ten years later, Galaxy is present in Paris, the United States, Singapore and Ireland. During business meals, Philippe Lejeune sometimes finds beautiful bottles like this 1966 Pommard, his vintage. “I can’t even say the area, but the fact that everyone focused on it appealed to me”, explains Philippe. He then has the strong backs to start a new life. It is even a need: “I’m not far from burnout, I have to breathe, I want nature and wine. “
Make a place for yourself in wine
Philippe Lejeune remembers his holidays in the Lot as a child. It was beautiful and rejuvenating. In 2007, an opportunity presented itself in Floressas: the Château de Chambert was for sale. Of course, the entrepreneur is ambitious, he’s a developer, but the estate covers 65 hectares and costs 6 million euros. “It’s a challenge, but I didn’t want a micro-domain either. “ The visionary immediately relies on biodynamics, “To be consistent with my thirst for nature”, offers the services of a prominent Bordeaux consultant – Stéphane Derenoncourt – and gets involved in the collective, in particular with the Confrérie du vin de Cahors: life is good.
Philippe is married, father of two children, and he divides his life between Galaxy and the Château de Chambert. In the latter, the environment is wonderful but you have to take care of the vineyard, make the wine and… sell it. “Obviously, I think I will succeed, but there is insane competition in wine”, disillusioned the neo-rural. “Chambert is not a dancer, organic takes time, to be honest, I go through a few moments of loneliness”, he remembers.
The breath of fresh air arrives in 2013 when the AdVini group (Jeanjean, Laroche, Cazes…) takes over the distribution of its wines. “I am relieved of the commercial aspect, I am only doing the ambassador”, underlines Lejeune. Here it is on track. He has also rebuilt his life with Lin, a Master of Wine graduate who easily accompanies him in his wine tourism development (upscale bistro, hotel, seminars, etc.).
From its terrace overlooking a breathtaking landscape, Philippe Lejeune sold Galaxy but never gave up on Chambert because, to use the words of Nino Ferrer, “Time lasts a long time, and life surely, more than a million years …”