Antoine Leccia is very unusual in the European wine industry in holding both a French qualification as an agricultural engineer and a degree from Harvard. AdVini, the business of which he has been CEO since 1992 began life as Jeanjean, a family-owned merchant in the South West of France. Today, it has grown to become a major owner of 2,500 hectares of vineyards and wine estates across France and South Africa, with annual revenues of €250m ($274m). Among its brands are Laroche, Ogier, Cazes, Antoine Moueix, Rigal, l’Avenir and Ken Forrester. More recently it acquired the Burgundy négociant firm of Champy. Traditionally largely focused on sales in France, AdVini has built exports from 40% to 50%. The Jeanjean family still holds 46% of the stock, but its listing on the Paris stock exchange gives the business the potential to grow by acquisition. One of the most respected members of the French wine industry – and president of the Federation of Wine & Spirit Exporters – Mr Leccia rarely gives interviews.
The appellation trail