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Contribution: "Enterprising culture" by Nicolas de Bailliencourt dit Courcol

What does being a “cultural entrepreneur” means for you?

When you come to think of it, being a “cultural entrepreneur” can consist in presenting the local “terroir” and its wines to the largest public – without any financial motive – in order to make the wine known, as it is a part of culture and is at the foundation of our civilization. Then, a cultural entrepreneur has to illustrate the vineyard and the wine by associating them, by all possible means, to every part of our civilization: culinary art of course – and they are part of the immaterial heritage of humanity – but also painting, music, literature, poetry, religion: all those activities which inspired our greatest artists throughout the ages: Omar Khayyâm, Flemish painters, monks of Cîteaux, Nicolas de Staël, Colette, Mozart, Baudelaire…

Culture, innovation and business, how do you combine those words?

We have to associate those three words and conjugate them in plural, in the same direction I mentioned earlier. With maybe a restriction concerning “innovation”. I think that we do not always need to make something new and previously unseen, under the pretext of innovation for its own sake, but instead – and I face here the risk of repeating myself and being conventional – to highlight and enhance what corresponds to our common cultural background, sometimes hardly assimilated, forgotten, or even looked-down on, for the sake of innovation… Those cultural foundations, this common heritage should be offered to everyone in its original form, without an entrepreneur who tries to “restyle” it – crazy initiative and laughable ambition.

What kind of advice would you give to young cultural entrepreneurs?

We can only encourage young entrepreneurs to take initiatives, risks, although it is easier to say so than to do so. It requires imagination, creativity, liberty, courage, nerve. It is also good to remind than nothing can be done without a solid humanist culture, obviously opened to the world as it is today, nor without knowledge of the history of previous civilizations, at the risk of building on sand…

About Nicolas de Bailliencourt dit Courcol, Chancellor, Academy of Bordeaux Wine

Manager (co-owner) of Château Gazin (Pomerol). Chancellor of the Academy of Bordeaux Wine (2007 - ). Member of the Académie du Vin de France. Administrator of the Union of Grands Crus de Bordeaux (1989 - ). Knight of the Order of Malta (1972).