четвъртък, 27 юни 2013 г.

Michel Rolland: Bulgarian wine was good, became very bad, now is at its highest quality


By Radev Trade On 21 Jun, 2013 At 10:19 PM | Categorized As All NewsWorld Wine Experts | With 0 Comments
michel rolland is a 64-year-old oenologist who consults more than 100 wineries in more than 15 countries. Today for more than 8 years has been a consultant for the  Telsih AD and their new winery “Castra Rubra in the village Kolarovo, province of Harmanli.  ”Via Diagonalis” (Via Diagonalis) and “Pendar” (distributed by Radev Trade at the Government stores in British Columbia), are made with the exclusive participation of .
Roland is consistently in the top ten of the most influential people in the wine world in the prestigious UK magazine “Decanter”. A couple of his wines, for the same year, have made it in the top 10 wines in the world. He is hired as a consultant in places like Bordeaux, California, Chile and Argentina and others.
Do you have any memories and impressions of the  20 years ago? During the communist era ‘s exports were huge, compared to today, especially for the UK?
- Yes, I have. It is very simple. My explanation is that when I first heard about the Bulgarian wine, it was moderately good. However, the cost was fantastic – very low! So moderately good and a fantastic price, I remember it in “Vinexpo” back  in 1987. Everyone at”Vinexpo” was saying: “You should try the Bulgarian wine! This is the cheapest wine! “Everyone  was tasting it. It was not an amazing wine, but it was good. And then what did you do? Very bad quality wine.
- Nowadays things are different because Bulgaria do things differently. You still produce wine at reasonable price,  but the quality is at  high level. Bulgaria now has the real opportunity to produce excellent wines that can compete with the best in the world.
You are one of the most important figures in the world of wine and consult more than one hundred wineries in the world. How do you cope with so much work?
- They call me the “flying technologist” because I constantly fly from place to place in many different countries. I do this not because I have to, but because I like it. My life consists of this – to make wine. You can imagine how much wine I made. I also like challenges, and people who have a passion to make wine.
How did you start your story with the Bulgarian wine and what is your role in Castra Ruba winery?
- When I met Jair Agopyan ( Jair Agopyan owns Telish and “Castra Rubra ‘), he was one of those people full of enthusiasm and desire to make wine. Then, when I came to Bulgaria, my first job was to go and see the vineyards which were old and needed to be improved. It is important to know that high quality wine directly depends on the quality of the grapes. The technologist is also very important, but without good grapes, no one can do a good wine. This was our first step – to improve the conditions in the vineyards and only after that we could start thinking about the winemaking and the techniques we would use. In this respect, I think Castra Runra so far is among the best wineries in Bulgaria.
The next step is the new vines that we started to plant. Thanks to them in just a few years we will have excellent conditions for creating not just good, but excellent Bulgarian wines. Actually this is the purpose of the whole operation.
Again, I want to say that my job is more or less wine passion rather than business. It is a pleasure to work with people who are committed to their projects, and the project of Jair Agopyan is namely that case. It aims at the best possible quality. This is exactly what we are trying to achieve.  Of course this can not happen just like that, by a magic. It takes a lot of hard work – to understand climate, the vineyards, the ways of vinification … Wine is a very creative program that we currently develop very well.
What exactly is your role in the wine creation process of  ”Castra Rubra “?
- Very simple. It is important when we have a set objective to know exactly what to do in order to achieve it.  This applies to the entire process from the control of the grapes that will create good material for the wine, to the proper vinification consistent with the specificity of this material, and to the aging in the barrels. When we talk about  ”Via Diagonalis” for example, we aim for less extraction and more freshness, as the wine is made for faster consumption. The aim ultimately is to create a more enjoyable and more accessible wine. Of course, in that situation, we will have a portion of the wine that is aged in barrels and another that will mature in stainless steel tanks. At the end of this whole process, I will decide, together with my colleagues, what will be the final ratio of the two wines  in the blend. My role is ultimately to give all the necessary directions for the work of the people that actually produce the wine.
What will be the next blend of “Castra Rubra” and do you plan on doing a white wine?
- For white wine, this is a question that we are currently discussing with Jair. Generally speaking Bulgaria has no traditions in white wines.  The main question that we have when we start the production of a new wine is to know in advance what market are we heading to. I’ll give you an example. If we decide to make chardonnay, it will could eventually do well within Bulgaria. But if we choose to export it, in the end it will be just one of the millions Chardonnays in the world. Subject of our discussions in the future will be to produce what wine that will be both interesting and successful in the market. And this is not a simple task.  What we are trying to do now, based on the long experience, is to understand what is the right balance between the different varieties. On this basis, we want to make wine that will reflect in the best way the local Bulgarian terroir, as after all this will be an unique Bulgarian wine, not something else.
What is your opinion on the biodynamic wine? ( biodynamic vineyards are grown with eco-friendly methods and without any means of plant protection, etc.. herbicides and pesticides. The wines are made without sulfites, which poses a risk of  spoilage) Is it a temporary fashion or something with serious future?
- Good question. Biodynamics is definitely a good way of life.
When people  ask me whether biodynamic wines are getting better, I say “No”.  Everyone can dream of biodynamics, but my job is ultimately to make wine. If I can apply biodynamic practices without jeopardizing my vineyards, then I am a supporter of these practices. If it is otherwise, then I’m certainly not “biodynamic.”
Which wine are you most proud of?
-  I have been involved in the creation of many fine wines (for example three of the four best wines in the world in 2002 were his creations. He’s behind some of the top wines of Bordeaux – Chateau Ausone, Chateau Pavie, Chateau Le Bon-Pasteur, Chateau Fontenil, Chateau La Couspaude and others., top wines of California – Araujo, Harlan Estate, Screaming Eagle, Bryant Family, Staglin, Chile Casa Lapostolle, Italian Tenuta dell’Ornellaia, Argentine Clos de los Siete etc.). The same way as for large families – imagine you have 12 children and they asked you which one you love the most. Simply can not answer that question.
You were born and raised with the wine in France. Also you have a long family tradition of wine making. In the end, was it a destiny or a choice of your own?
- My own choice.