Robert G Wilmers, known widely as Bob Wilmers, died at his home in Buffalo, New York State, on Saturday night. He was aged 83.
Owner of Château Haut-Bailly in Pessac-Léognan since 1998, and neighbouring Château le Pape since 2012, Wilmers was also the long-term CEO of M&T bank in Buffalo that he grew into one of the biggest financial institutions in the United States, all while retaining his image as a careful, risk-averse steward.
Investor Warren Buffet said of him when learning of his death, ‘he was a remarkable banker, an even more remarkable citizen and wonderful friend’.
In Bordeaux, he will be remembered for elevating Château Haut-Bailly into one of the very top estates of the region, investing in both vineyard and cellar and giving full trust to the considerable talents of director Véronique Sanders.
‘Bob arrived at Haut-Bailly extremely discreetly,’ Olivier Bernard, president of the union for Bordeaux grands crus (UGC), told...