Trade pays tribute to Thierry

05 October, 2007

The wine trade has paid tribute to Thierry Cabanne in a memorial service at Romsey Abbey.

Family, friends and former colleagues packed the abbey to remember the chairman of Thierry's Wine Services, who died in a car accident on Sept 13.

Three former colleagues of Cabanne - business partner John Hayston and Thierry's buying and managing directors Dominique Vrigneau and Ged Welch - read personal tributes to the well-known and influential character.

Hayston paid tribute to Cabanne's "self-effacing charm, extreme modesty, respect, warmth and individualism" but also talked about the quirkiness of Cabanne's character, including frequent brushes with the traffic police.

"He once phoned me to say 'I can't make the meeting because I'm in jail'," Hayston said.

Cabanne had many business interests outside wine, but was not motivated by money, Hayston told the congregation. "We were fully agreed that pride in what we were doing was sufficient motivation."

Cabanne's shares in Thierry's Wine Services will be returned to the company as "his wish was for things to continue onwards and upwards" Hayston said.

"Thierry walked his own path, but he took an awful lot of us with him," he concluded.

Welch read an extract from Kahlil Gibran's poem The Prophet. "Thank you for all of your gifts. I'm sure you're dancing now," he said.

The memorial service opened with Frank Sinatra's My Way and concluded with Edith Piaf's Je Ne Regrette Rien.




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Richard Hemming MW: beware inverse snobbery

Few things can bring communal pleasure so intimately as wine. Apart from a hot tub, perhaps. Sport can trigger mass jubilation, film gives us shared empathy, but wine has a nigh-unique ability to bestow conviviality among us through a shared bottle ľ which makes it especially galling that we spend so much time divided over it.

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