Armenia’s winemaking field has beautiful future - French oenologist Michel Rolland
YEREVAN, APRIL 11, ARMENPRESS. Famous oenologist Michel Rolland is currently in Armenia at the invitation of the Karas wine factory. He studied at Tour Blanche school of oenology in the French city of Bordeaux, than became one of the 5 successors who continued their studies at the very popular oenology institute of Bordeaux.
Now he is one of the most internationally famous oenologists and cooperates with more than 14 countries by providing consultation and making country-specific wines. Château Le Bon Pasteur, Château Bertineau Saint-Vincent, Château Rolland-Maillet, Château Fontenil, Château La Grande Clotte products belong to him. He is also co-owner of other famous wine products (Valde Flores, Campo Eliseo, Yacochuya and Clos De los Siete).
The French oenologist gave an interview to Armenpress speaking about the purpose of his visit, as well as his activity.
-Mr. Rolland, what is the purpose of your visit?
-It is already 5 years we are engaged in the Karas factory’s program. One of my assistants visits here for at least 3 times a year. I come here to implement the final stage of the process, to summarize the works done, in other words, my assistants make wine, and I do the final steps.
-How often do you personally visit Armenia?
-I am cooperating with a lot of countries, and I have 7 assistants. At least once I manage to visit here since the most important steps are being made at the final stage where experience is necessary.
-Are there any other economic entities in Armenia engaged in wine production to which you also provide consultation?
-No, there aren’t, I cooperate only with Karas.
-What can you say about the quality of Armenian wine? What characteristic features will you identify?
-You know, when I arrived in Armenia for the first time, it was 2011 I guess, I was thinking that wine is not so good in Armenia, and we will be able to make a good wine in 5-6 years as firstly the region is very favorable for it, and people work better than before. We don’t make wine with the same methods everywhere. Wine must be unique in each place. My goal is to find how to make a really good wine. As for the Armenian wine, I can say that it is yet not completely revealed. When Eduardo Eurnekian invited me to visit Armenia, initially I was a little surprised, but I said I will come, and we launched this program. Winemaking in Bordeaux is almost simple, but in Armenia the path of good winemaking is full of challenges, but I like it. Today we are confident that it will be possible to make a very good wine in Armenia.
-You are in this field for quite a long time, it can be said you devoted your entire life to this field. You said it is possible to make a good wine in Armenia. In your opinion, what are the criteria that will enable to make a really good quality wine?
-I really don’t know. My goal is one: wherever I am, I am trying to do the best I can. Sometimes I told people with whom I cooperate that we are not here to make a Bordeaux wine: for instance, we are in Armenia to make an Armenian wine, in Argentina – an Argentine wine, in India – an Indian wine. We need to understand the type of grape, vine cultivation process, eventually the place where we are, and after that we can make a good wine. I think it is a little early for Armenia, but it has a very beautiful future in this field.
-Mr. Rolland, you tasted different kinds of wine in your life, and what is the most impressive wine you have ever tested?
-I don’t know exactly how many kinds of wines I have tasted in my life, but yes, they were many for sure. As such, I will mention the old wines which I like very much, and there are few countries where it is possible to have old wines. For instance, in Armenia it is yet impossible to speak about 45-50 year-old wine, maybe it will be possible in future. Even in Italy they are few, there are some types in California.
-Mr. Rolland, your father, grandfather also were engaged in this field. What do you think, whether a person must have inherited the respective skills for being a wine expert?
-In my case it definitely is. You know, I always made jokes in this regard since when I was a child, I thought everyone in the world is engaged in wine production, I mean I saw the whole world as such since I grew up in the vineyard, and we didn’t travel as now we do. I have always been in this field, and I didn’t imagine anything else in my mind. My goal was to continue the work of my family.
Interview by Syuzi Muradyan