Nominee: Person of the Year
Frédéric Helfrich is descended from a long line of Alsatians: For six generations his family have lived in the region, and for the past three generations they have been prominent in the wine and spirits business.
He was inspired by his parents and grandparents who loved their Alsatian homeland and its emblematic products. His father, Joseph, became involved in the wine and spirits business, founding Les Grand Chais de France in 1979, which went on to become one of the most successful wine companies in France.
He grew up steeped in the French winemaking culture. From the age of 14 on, he spent the best part of his school holidays at the winery filling any jobs in the cellar that he could. These experiences gave him a broad understanding of winemaking and production.
After his studies at one of France’s most prestigious business schools, the ESC Dijon in Burgundy, he did an internship with the GCF Group in the United States. He came back to France with a good understanding of the complex rules around the U.S. retail wine market.
Today, Frédéric has come full circle: he is Export Commercial Director in charge of US, Australia, Asia and United Kingdom. He works hand in hand with his father Joseph, his sister Anne-Laure, and also his wife Orianne. He became father this year for the second time, and hopes his two children will keep the family wine-tradition alive.