Photo d'Aurore, The French Vigneronne dans la vigne
Photo d'Aurore, The French Vigneronne avec son sécateur F3020 INFACO

Aurore, at the head of the family estate after 15 years of engineering

Aurore grew up among the vines at Carcès in the Var, and has always been aware of the importance of protecting nature and working the land. She comes from a family of winegrowers and, despite her unusual background, she always knew that one day she would take over from her parents.

Can you tell us about your career and what prompted you to put your engineering career on hold to take over the family wine estate?

I worked for a major French construction and civil engineering group in Paris, building drinking water production plants. But I missed 'my native south' and returned to Toulon as project manager for the construction of a waste-to-energy plant.

After 15 years in Toulon and when my father started talking about retiring, I thought about taking over my parents' estate. Why not a 5th generation running the family vineyards?

Photo d'Aurore, The French Vigneronne

Were there any challenges during your transition? Which ones?

The very first challenge was going back to school! Before going back to basics, I felt it was essential to acquire knowledge specific to vine growing. I took a distance-learning BTS in viticulture and winegrowing, and once I'd passed it, I started the process of setting up my own business with the Var Chamber of Agriculture.

But in the end, my biggest challenge was to adapt to my new environment: the weather, the use of farm machinery, knowledge of the soil, the rhythm of the seasons and working hours that vary according to farming needs (debudding, early harvest).

Does your training as an engineer help you to manage and optimise your vineyard?

My past experience as an engineer has enabled me to be organised when it comes to management and administrative tasks, and to anticipate specific objectives (prioritising tasks according to the season, working as part of a team, calling on various partners, etc.). I also had to keep abreast of new regulations and apply them on the farm.

My job as a project engineer involved a lot of meetings with technical and financial partners to defend our projects. This has given me the ability to adapt, to question and to express myself easily, which today facilitates my exchanges with the cooperative cellar, the cooperative members and even suppliers.

Photo de famille, The French Vigneronne avec leurs sécateurs INFACO

How has using INFACO pruning shears improved your day-to-day work?

We use INFACO pruning shears for all our pruning work on the farm. We prune 24 ha from December to March.

INFACO pruning shears are very reliable and light. They have excellent autonomy, perfect ergonomics and high cutting speed and force. With them, we easily manage 8 hours of pruning a day without any problems of fatigue or muscular pain.

The cut is clean and perfect, and we don't need to go back over it. This saves us a lot of physical effort and time. Last but not least, I'd like to mention safety, with far less wire cut and no risk of hand injury.

As an anecdote, this winter there were 3 generations of us pruning our plot of Cabernet Sauvignon, each with their own row and their own INFACO pruning shears.

Can you share with us an anecdote or an outstanding moment since you took over the family business?

My first trip by tractor from the plot to the cooperative at 4 o'clock in the morning. It was a moment of great stress... and emotion. I felt a strong sense of solidarity among the cooperative members!

Sécateur électrique professionnel F3020 en viticulture - INFACO

After this first season in the vineyards, how do you feel?

I'm very proud of this family project: knowing that the estate is going to continue is a real joy. I'm learning how to work our vines, take care of the soil and listen to the signs of nature. All of this is thanks to the ongoing training provided by my father and great-uncle, and being able to experience all of this with them reinforces my new choice of life. I'm where I belong and I'm going to continue to flourish in this new profession.

Do you have any new plans for developing your business?

Initially, I'm going to learn and fully understand how to work our vines and our soils. Then, in the medium term, with my oenologist sister, why not vinify part of our estate ourselves and create a 100% feminine family cuvée?