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October 6, 2010

This Story was posted on Linkedin so this is why I love this man


Coca-cola style wine could be the future, says Michel Rolland.

Michel Rolland, the legendary wine-maker, explained his vision of the wines of the future in front of students at the INSEEC.
A packed seminar in Bordeaux yesterday morning, listening to Michel Rolland.

What wine will we be drinking by the year 2050? Michael Rolland cannot be sure, but he has his own ideas. Yesterday morning, the most famous of all the “Flying Wine Makers” (1) gave his views on this topic to students at INSEEC, a Bordeaux business school.

Michel Rolland has forged a controversial reputation for himself by placing technical progress in wine-making above everything else. According to him, this enables producers to make good wine virtually everywhere. In addition, thanks to progress, wine can be adapted to the tastes of each market across the world.

Rolland’s role model? None other than Coca-Cola!

‘Terroir’, the sacrosanct parameter in the Bordeaux region, only counts with the greatest famous estates and their naturally complex wines. For the rest, it’s all to do with wine-making methods and marketing. If Indians love curry, then let them make their wine with a curry flavour, Rolland suggests.

This is basically what he explained yesterday morning to the 2013 Class at INSEEC. Deliberately provocative, he is without doubt the only oenologist who uses Coca-Cola as an example. “What do the Coke people do? They adapt the taste according to market demands. In the northern USA, where people really like cinnamon, they give Coke a cinnamon taste. In India, it’s slightly spicy and that’s worst of all. In Europe, you find a fresher, sharper Coke. In the future, wine will be able to do the same: adapt to differing markets. Here in France, and particularly in Bordeaux, we must stop believing that we have a monopoly on the definition of taste.”

Wine-producing Darwinism

With such comments, Michel Rolland is assured of real animosity from the world of wine, especially in Bordeaux. He knows this very well and seems not to care, as he continues to criss-cross the Gironde roads between his several wine estates in a large, chauffeur-driven black Mercedes, before hopping on a plane to go and advise clients in the Nappa Valley, in Australia or South Africa.

According to Rolland, by 2050, wine will be a tailor-made product responding to a specific demand, and not the expression of an ongoing traditional savoir faire. Rolland professes to a sort of wine-producing Darwinism, where each producing region will have to adapt to the demand or die. “But the big shake-up is Asia. We’ll have to adapt to the tastes of those countries. Today, there is a fairly equal tendency in Bordeaux to always make the same style of wine. For this region, the future depends on the producers’ capacity to make market-friendly products. It’s essential to find out what the consumers want. Why not make a strawberry-flavoured wine? For me that would be an aberration, but we may have to consider it…”

So, if we understand correctly the future depends on market demand. But what of Michel Rolland’s personal tastes? A student asked him the question. His reply was ambiguous “You know, in the business I’m in, one often changes sides! I try to be an aesthete, but I am also an oenologist. I have personal tastes, but my craft has given me a split personality…”

Although he is an expert when it comes to the tastes of others, he will say nothing more about his own.

(1) Flying Wine Makers : an expression used to describe famous oenologist consultants flying from one vineyard to another, across the Planet, to hand out their expert advice.

Photo So :DR C.Petit


Translated by: BWN

Copyright 2009 – © -Bordeaux Wine News-All Rights Reserved.

09:24 Posted by Maxine Colas in Maxine Wine News | Permalink | Comments (0) | Email this | Tags: michel, rolland, wine-maker, inseec, sudouest, bordeaux, wine, coca-cola, maxine, colas, marketing, darwinism, oenologist

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