Unlike most people who hold a position similar to his in the United States wine industry, Remi Cohen does not come from a wine family. Not only that, but he enrolled in college with the intention of studying pre-medical. However, something happened along the way, such as a strong desire to stay and live in California as well as new educational interests that led him to where he is today.
The chief executive officer of the Domaine Carneros winery still finds it hard to believe that she is one of the 15% of women who can say they lead a winery in the Carneros area of California’s Napa Valley, as well as managing one of the most important wine houses in the United States.
“Domaine Carneros was founded in 1987 by the Taittinger family, which owns one of the largest and most important champagne wineries in the world, and at that time they hired Eileen Crane to lead the project, something revolutionary at the time. said Cohen, who studied for a bachelor’s degree in molecular and cellular biology at the University of California at Berkeley and later completed a master’s degree in viticulture and enology at the University of California at Davis. “It’s amazing to see that the company has supported female leadership for a long time. “Continuing that legacy is a true honor, a privilege, and a great responsibility, above all, to achieve and maintain the level of quality that the Taittinger family has come to expect.”
Cohen, who visited the island for four days to participate in a series of lunches and dinners to taste and pair products from the winery he runs, is well aware of Puerto Rico’s place in relation to other countries. in the Caribbean in the industry, the wine industry, especially in sparkling wines. “There is a good wine culture here, both local and tourist. Puerto Ricans, in particular, have a strong tendency to collect and drink good wine and participate in the culture of gastronomy,” explained the businesswoman, who grew up in New Jersey. “I think that’s what sets Puerto Rico apart from other Caribbean islands, because not many other islands have such a strong local culture. On top of that, it has a strong tourism industry with many hotels and restaurants, so there is a lot of potential in this market.
Currently, there are five Domaine Carneros products sold on the island, including Brut, Brut Rosé, Vermeil, Le Rêve, and Pinot Noir. Without a doubt, the best seller is Brut, but they have a lot of business opportunities with Brut Rosé.
“We are known for Brut because it is the first sparkling wine we make, which is a blend of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir from our vineyards in the Carneros region using the traditional method,” emphasized Cohen when talking about the product with a minimum of three years before being put up for sale. In fact, this traditional method of sparkling wine is a labor-intensive process where a second fermentation takes place in each individual bottle. These are the same rules used in France to make champagne and serve as a seal of quality for Domaine Carneros’ sparkling wines and as a tribute to the winery’s country of origin.
One of the highest quality products available at Domaine Carneros is the 100% Chardonnay wine “Le Rêve”, which in Spanish means “the dream”, which has a unique history. “When our founder, Claude Taittinger, acquired the land where our vineyards are located, back in 1986, he asked Eileen Crane to not only make Brut using traditional methods, but also to create a product that of the ‘teté du cuvée’. , or the best wine, produced by the Taittinger company, which is the Compte de Champagne, a ‘blanc du blanc’ from the Grand Cru Chardonnay vineyards,” explained Cohen.
After several years of testing and prototyping, Crane finally sent Taittinger a sample in 1992 for him to test. The Frenchman was amazed and satisfied with the quality of the wine that he sent California as a gift a beautiful personal bottle with an embossed insignia in the form of a double sheep’s head, in honor of the California region. This is the same logo used till now on all the bottles of the brand.
“The only challenge left to Claude was what he would call this white wine. “He told the story to a lot of people, telling them that making wine in California was the culmination of a dream, until someone suggested that maybe he should call it ‘Le Rêve,'” the American said. “This wine summarizes what Claude Tattinger’s dream was to have a sparkling winery in California and is also a tribute to the great vision he had for Napa Valley, knowing that it was possible to create the world-class sparkling wine from this region.”
Currently, Domaine Carneros has about 400 hectares (originally 100 hectares) where they harvest Chardonnay and Pinot Noir grapes, so they have sustainable growth control, in line with their commitment to the environment.
One thing that distinguishes the Domaine Carneros winery is that it has among its vineyards an impressive castle modeled on the Chateau de la Marqueterie, a beautiful castle owned by the Tattinger family in the Epernay region of Champagne. This building is unique in that it is located among the company’s vineyards and has beautiful gardens with a grand staircase. On its way up, visitors will be surprised to see some vineyards located on both sides.
This beautiful place welcomes the general public, over 21 years of age, who wants to come and taste the wines and, without delay, pair them with some simple dishes such as cheese, caviar or smoked salmon, or even a variety of lunch or dinner.