Sébastien Latz (château de Berne): “Teaching a wide range of subjects, that is one of emlyon business school’s strengths”

Jul 16, 2018

After many years working as a consultant, Sébatien Latz (Grand Ecole Programme 2001), switched careers when he went to work in port activity in Dubai, Sydney and then Hong Kong. Today, he is starting a new challenge running the Château de Berne wine estate in Provence.

Your father is the mayor and a wine producer in Correns. Is taking over the running of chateau in Provence a way to return to your roots?

It wasn’t really the deciding factor, but it certainly helps on a daily basis. It was certainly a time saver knowing the field! We are currently in the process of implementing an organic production, and that is also something I know a lot about: Correns is France’s #1 organic village!

What drove you to take on the running of château de Berne?

I had called on the services of a head hunter to recruit staff for Marseille’s maritime terminals, and he put me in touch with the château’s owner. I like a challenge, so that was what motivated me, that and the need for a change. Before working in port activities, I had spent 10 years in business consulting. My current activity is different again, but I am curious person who likes variety.

So what is your project for château de Berne?

We want to bring a certain idea of Provence to our clients. It is an authentic setting with the château and its three surrounding estates. We want to offer a refined experience of Provençal life with a Michelin starred restaurant, a spa and, of course, good wine!

How would say your time at emlyon business school has helped you?

My diploma certainly opened doors for me. The range and diversity of subjects taught really serves me today. We learn about many subjects and in doing so, we learn to be a jack of all trades.

Is there one thing you remember in particular about your training?

Raid Hannibal, which is a race between Lyon and Turin. It’s an event organised by the student association in the aim of improving the rail connection between these two cities. It’s truly an extra-ordinary event!

Have you stayed in touch with any of your classmates?

Yes, I still have some very good friends from school. And every year, we get together in a European capital. And we recreate our student years!

Who inspires you?

The skipper Marc Thiercelin, who has single-handedly sailed around the world 5 times while also running his company (Company Thiercelin). I am fan of his, and his unconventional journey.

What would find on your nightstand?

At the moment the Lonely Planet guide to Indonesia. I am going there in July. It will be a great opportunity to go and visit my friends who are spread all over the world. Otherwise, I tend to read le Monde at night.  

Can you recommend a good wine for us?

A good wine is generally one that is shared with friends.

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