Name: Neasa Corish Miquel
Occupation & Company: Co-proprietor (and wife!) of Laurent Miquel Family Wines, based in the Languedoc.
Tell me about your current role?
My role has evolved a lot in the 22 years since I moved to the Languedoc. Currently, I manage most things outside of the vineyards and the wine-making, which are Laurent’s domain. We export to over 40 countries and I manage all of the day-to-day around that, so there’s always something to do and someone to talk to! I also oversee all of our marketing and communications, as well as working closely with Laurent on developing new wines.
How did you first get into the drinks industry?
By accident and because of love! I met Laurent when I was just 18 and spending the summer in France. At the end of that summer, he moved to the UK to work with Nissan as an engineer and I returned to Dublin to start my degree at Trinity College. We managed to maintain a long-distance relationship, even when Laurent moved back to France in 1996 to take over as head winemaker from his father Henri. 2 years later, I packed my bags to join him at Château Cazal Viel, the family estate in the Languedoc, and I joined the family business.
What is your favourite part about working in the industry?
The travel has always been a big plus – I’ve been fortunate enough to visit many countries in Europe, as well as further afield to America and Canada. It’s fascinating to experience the food and drink cultures of various cultures and I adore telling our 8th-generation family story at every opportunity! The wine industry is a very collaborative and positive world and I couldn’t imagine working in any other business.
We’re meeting up for a wee drink after work – what are you having?
I love a glass of dry rosé – a great pick-me-up at the end of the day.
You can only have one drink for the rest of your life, what’s in your glass?
I find the versatility of Viognier hard to beat. The challenge with this grape is expressing its plump, exotic fruit profile, while maintaining freshness and acidity. Laurent Miquel were the first growers to plant this grape in the Languedoc in the 1990s and our old vines produce elegant, structured, concentrated wines that work so well with food.
It’s Saturday night, what restaurant are you going to?
We like to go out as a family and with two kids under 12, our choice is usually a friendly, informal bistro with tasty, local dishes and plenty of noise!
Is there a bucket list drink you want to try, or a dream drinks destination you’d love to visit?
I’d love to explore the wine regions of Chile – they are doing wonderful and exciting things with cool-climate Syrah.
The most memorable experience of your career?
I think that has to be me turning up with my suitcase in a 300-year-old family wine estate of 8 generations as a very naïve 24-year-old!
One thing you’d like to see more of in the drinks industry?
We are HVE Level 3 certified in our vineyards and have made significant investments in our winery and working practices to reduce our impact and CO2 emissions. I would like more industry collaboration and energy around sustainability initiatives – together we have the power to turn it around.
What advice would you give to someone who wants to start a career in the industry?
Go for it! It’s a world of adventure that encompasses history, geography, art, farming, culture, food and people! I wouldn’t be anywhere else!
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