Picard Père et Fils is one of the largest wine producers and négociants in Burgundy and, with nearly 300 acres of vineyards, Michel Picard is also one of Burgundy's largest landholders. Although modest in size by California and by most other New World standards, Picard's domain defines the pinnacle in Burgundy, France's most famous wine region. As part of his vast holdings, Michel Picard owns at least five distinct historical estates in Burgundy, including his latest acqui-sition, the Château de Chassagne-Montrachet, which serves as the company headquarters. He also produces an excellent array of red and white Burgundies, which bear the Michel Picard label, most notably Chablis, Pouilly Fuissé, and Beaujolais-Villages. Despite the growing size of this vast estate, wine remains very much a family affair at Picard Père et Fils. Michel's father began the family business in 1951and Michel joined the family enterprise when he was only 16 years old. Picard's wife, Liliane, is also part of the business. Her family has produced many generations of winegrowers. Today, even the Picard's son and daughter, Gabriel and Francine, are an integral part of this growing concern. By all accounts, Michel Picard is a very accomplished and talented individual. In addition to consistently producing a superlative array of wines and owning 30 independent retail shops and related wine facilities for bottling and printing, Picard serves as mayor of Chagny in Burgundy, a position he has held since 2001. Motivated by a desire to change the town's political climate, Michel entered the race only two weeks prior to the election, and won. However, there is even more to Michel Picard than fine wine and civic pride. Michel is also a true patron of the arts. He has commissioned a number of major art works in Burgundy, and he is dedicated to preserving the ancient Flemish art form of tapestry production. And in his spare time, Michel serves on the Board of the internationally acclaimed culinary school Ecole des Arts Culinaires de Lyon, which is directed by Chef/Restaurateur Paul Bocuse. Not surprisingly, Michel Picard wines are the sponsoring wines at the school representing Burgundy. Moreover, Michel Picard has long been an enthusiastic supporter of the legendary Hospice de Beaune wine auction, one of the oldest charitable endeavors on earth. In fact, Michel has been among the top three purchasers at the auction since 1995. Each year he purchases an average of 50 barrels at the Hospice de Beaune event. During the mid 1990's, when several key purchasers decided not to participate in the auction, Michel Picard personally traveled throughout Burgundy to encourage négociants to support the auction and preserve the tradition. Michel Picard's efforts and dedication have helped preserve the grand tradition of the Hospices de Beaune wine auction one of the wine world's premier events.