The Story Of Michel Rolland

World famous winemaker and wine consultant Michel Rolland was born in the illustrious French wine region, Bordeaux, at Châteu Le Bon Pasteur in Pomerol on December 24, 1947.

Michel Rolland studied enology at the University of Bordeaux and was mentored by the Forefather of Modern Oenology, Émile Peynaud. He graduated in 1972. At the university, Michel Rolland met his wife and future working partner, Dany Rolland. Together they opened an enology laboratory and began to provide consultancy services in 1985.

In a short time, Michel Rolland and his wife Dany Rolland already had customers beyond France, in countries such as Italy, the United States, Chile, Brazil, and Argentina, where they had gigantic participation in the development of wine production.

Did you know?

In France, Michel Rolland holds the title of cellar master, oenologist or consultant in around 80 wine-producing properties.

The winemaker and his team take a very active role in vineyard operations and grape selection, ensuring quality at all stages of winemaking. Its wines are internationally recognized and have a very characteristic style. They are rich in ripe fruit, and well structured, with round tannins and prominent oak.

His style dominated the world for a few decades.

Rolland’s style has influenced winemaking in France and worldwide. Many of his wines have high prices and are challenging to obtain, but many other labels are affordable, and you would expect more expensive wines with the quality.

The Argentina Wine Market

In 1988, French consultant Michel Rolland went to Argentina to taste some wines. Rolland helped to increase quality and made the Argentine wine market one of the leading exporters in the New World.

His first experience with wines in Argentina was in a partnership with a wine producer in Cafayate, northwest Argentina. As a result, he began to provide consultancy services in several other wineries in the country. Gradually, Argentine wines improved, and Michel Rolland significantly influenced this development.

In 1996, Michel Rolland chose a place full of different terroirs to produce his wine. The chosen location was the Uco Valley, in the south of Mendoza.

Vineyards in the Uco Valley

Vineyards in the Uco Valley

At that time, the Uco Valley was not as prosperous as it is today, but the terroir of the Uco Valley was essential for Michel Rolland to choose this region to produce his wines.

The Uco Valley is located in the south of Mendoza at the foot of the Andes Mountains, in an area with a temperate climate, with harsh winters and hot summers with cool nights. The environment of this region was one of the factors that most attracted Michel Rolland, who believed that the high altitude of the area and less aggressive temperature favored the quality of the grapes and made the ripening longer, allowing the grape to develop entirely and still preserve the acidity of the grapes.

The soil was another factor that attracted Michel Rolland. The ground in this region is predominantly stony, with pebbles mixed with coarse sand, good permeability, good drainage, and not very fertile. In some areas, we find clay or limestone and regions with calcium deposits.

Wine map of Argentina

Clos de Los Siete

Michel Rolland was looking for an area with about 300 hectares of vineyards. Still, he found a property with 850 hectares and realizing that the size was more extensive than he imagined, he sought out interested investors and invited friends to the project. Seven families were working together and started the wine project “Clos de Los Siete.”

The “Clos de Los Siete” project. It was a bit unusual in that the seven families would make their wines independently, and together they would make the wine labeled “Clos de Los Siete,” where everyone would contribute wines to the brand, and Michel Rolland would blend the wines.

Currently, four properties are supplying wines to the “Clos de Los Siete” brand which are Bodegas y Viñedos Monteviejo, Bodega Diamandes Cuvelier los Andes and Bodega Rolland.

50% of the grapes used on the “Clos de Los Siete” label are from the Malbec variety. The other types are the well-known Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and other grapes that achieve excellent results in the Mendoza region.

The first crop of the label “Clos de Los Siete.” happened in 2002, becoming a tremendous Argentine classic, which has already accumulated seventeen consecutive harvests.

Considered the best vintage of the last thirty years in Mendoza, its 2018 vintage was aged for 11 months (70% in French oak barrels and 30% in vats) and is composed of 55% Malbec, 19% Merlot, 10 % Cabernet Sauvignon, 12% Syrah, 2% Petit Verdot and 2% Cabernet Franc.

With an annual production of 1 million bottles, “Clos de Los Siete” is exported to more than 70 countries.

The recognitions and awards that Bodegas y Viñedos Monteviejo, Bodega Diamandes, Cuvelier los Andes and Bodega Rolland have won around the world redouble their commitment to Mendoza.

More Recently

Currently, 74 years old, Michel Rolland still works as a wine consultant, visiting wineries and helping to create high-quality wines. At Bodega Rolland, he has the help of his daughter Sthépanie Rolland, his wife Dany Rolland in the administration, and her daughter Marie Rolland. She is responsible for the design and image of all developments.

Also read: The History of Rancho Cucamonga

Want to read more? Try these books!

Wines of Argentina Michel Rolland Le gourou du vin (Le verre et l'assiette) (French Edition)

Wine Pairing Recommendation

Categories: This Day in Wine History | ArticlesTags: , , , , , By Published On: November 2, 2022Last Updated: February 27, 2024

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