The founder of the fourth French construction group, a major figure in the industrial sector, Clément Fayat has just died at the age of 90. In addition to his empire in construction, he had invested in passion in wine, having under the banner of the Fayat vineyards collected three properties in the Bordeaux vineyards.
Born in Corrèze in 1932 into a modest family, ” down to earth, self-taught and inspired“, Clément Fayat settled in Libourne and in 1957 founded Fayat Entreprise TP. Him who had simply started with a backhoe will create a veritable construction empire: 21,666 employees today, € 4.6 billion in revenue by 2021, present in 170 countries around the world. In addition to this success in the construction sector, this wine enthusiast invested very early in the vineyard: in 1969 he bought Château La Dominique, a Grand Cru Classé from Saint-Émilion, which was to become one of the strongholds of wine tourism on the right bank – its cellar designed by Jean Nouvel , which has stood in the middle of the vines since 2012, can not escape the gaze of visitors. Then came the Château Clément-Pichon (Haut-Médoc, recently recognized as the Cru Bourgeois Supérieur) and several vineyards in Pomerol united in 2009 under the entity Château Fayat.
Promoted to the rank of Commander of the Order of Honor in 2012, by Alain Juppé, Clément Fayat will have succeeded in combining two pillars of the French economy, industry and agriculture, through wine. In 2020, he teamed up with his two sons Jean-Claude and Laurent to create the Fayat Foundation, formulated around three missions: combating neurodegenerative diseases and participating in medical research; educate people – especially the poorest – who want to enter the construction sector and help people who want to retrain in another sector; and finally the rehabilitation and renovation of historical monuments.
“A new horizon opens up in front of us, I can feel it”
After entrusting the reins of his group to his two sons, Clément Fayat confided: ” A new horizon opens up before us, I feel it. And I have confidence because two men carry these values and this desire to succeed in their genes. It’s time for big plans. Of the story that continues. And innovative developments“. Jean-Claude Fayat, who in 2020 had lent himself to the performance of the interview “on the divine” for “Terre de Vins” (n ° 67), confided in the sometimes difficult side by registering in the note for such an emblematic father: ” He is a dominant father. Relationships have never been confrontational, but masculine. Today he is in a relationship where he needs me. For me, it was hard to accept. I have great respect for all the work he has done. I know where we come from, my grandparents were poor people. My dad managed to do all that from that background. I really have a lot of respect. For my part, I had the chance to be pampered, to study. He was harsh with me, he did not spoil me with gifts. “ while declaring “Very happy to realize all that he was able to give me, give us. I have a lot of respect and love for him. »
The transfer, it also went through the wine, which remained for a long time ” preserved by Clément Fayat in the group until he gave the torch to his son Jean-Claude in 2011: you just have to take care of it! Memories of youth, Jean-Claude Fayat remembered: “He had a cellar that I see in our house. He opened bottles very regularly. The Sunday menu was usually roast beef and celery. Celery, I hated that! Luckily I was allowed to taste the wine. This drop of wine brought some magic. At 4 p.m. or 17 we enjoyed blind tastings .. I drank Peter quite regularly, but it was not the prices of the day …!”
The Terre de Vins team sends its condolences to the Fayat family and to the entire Vignobles Fayat team.