Leadership in Wine #30 - Yang Shen

  • Alexis Robin

Yang, born in the south western Chinese province of Sichuan, originally completed a degree in finance in China, before deciding to follow his love of wine to France. There, he studied winemaking in Montpellier and wine marketing in Bordeaux. 

In 2004 Yang graduated with a Master in marketing and management of wine and spirits from Université Montesquieu-Bordeaux IV. Speaking fluent French, English and Mandarin, he became estate director of Domaine Chandon in China in 2011 following his good track record as a senior brand ambassador for Moet Hennessy Diageo in China.

In 2016 Yang was appointed estate director at Cloudy Bay Estate in Marlborough. He has 25 years of experience in the wine industry.

How do you define leadership?

For me leadership is about empowering the whole winery team to follow the clear vision/mission of Cloudy Bay and provide opportunities to develop our people’s skill and recognize their value.


What are the main challenges of being a leader in the wine industry today?

To have a clear vision of success regarding the changes in the world of consumption and the effect of those changes on various markets and different cultures.


What are your major breakthroughs in your career to become the leader you are now?

Having had the chance to join the LVMH platform allowed me the possibility to lead projects such as Chandon China and Ao Yun which in turn led me to my role today, in which I still think I have a lot to learn, including leadership.


If you were starting your career in 2019 in the wine industry, what advice would you give to yourself to become successful and content?

Understand the key factors of success in this industry and analyse key players to find a good company to work for at the start of your career.


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