The story behind Olivier Leflaive negociant house is a suggestive dance between tradition and innovation. Olivier is part of the winemakers’ family owning Domaine Leflaive and he did indeed work for the family business between 1982 and 1994, although his own brand is completely separate.
Olivier was born in 1945 and started building an economics and business background through his university studies. The decade between 1972 and 1981 was a time where the young Olivier enjoyed the bohemian Paris lifestyle, engaging with the show-business environment alongside friends who worked in the media, while teaching accounting in his spare time. Before going back to the family business, he was also a booking agent for some singers and folk bands, as well as a scheduler for the radio station France Inter.
While still working at his family domaine, Olivier started his own negociant business in 1984 in order to supply a request from a renowned American importer looking for wines from Meursault and Chassagne-Montrachet. As the family estate didn’t own vineyards, he decided to buy grapes from plots from that area and vinify them himself, relying in his family winemaking tradition.
This was quite an innovative approach in Burgundy at the time, but Olivier was followed in his journey by investors and wine professionals interested in his “en primeur” business model, selling before bottling. Furthermore, talented, young winemaker Franck Grux joined in 1988, followed by his general manager and former son-in-law Jean Souberyand in 2017.
In 2010, Olivier decided to retire, but his involvement in the business strongly remains as he still bears the flag of the estate that built around his personality and values.