Caroline Frey is the winemaker at Château La Lagune in Bordeaux, Château Corton in Burgundy, and Paul Jaboulet Aine in Rhône.
A graduate of Bordeaux University, Frey took helm of her family owned Bordeaux third estate Château La Lagune in 2004, and has been instrumental in transforming the winery.
Her winemaking skills and talents were put into test when her family purchased the legendary Paul Jaboulet Aîné in the Rhône Valley in 2006 and later Château Corton in Burgundy in 2014. At three estates, she has instituted organic practices, nurturing healthier and more fulfilled vines for better grapes.
In the interview, Frey chats to us about her winemaking philosophy, sharing a bottle of Hermitage La Chapelle 2010 with wizard Gandalf, if imagination serves right, and her source of happiness in life.
How many years have you aged so far?
I was born in a beautiful vintage 1978 for the Rhone Valley. One of the most beautiful vintages of Hermitage La Chapelle. In Bordeaux, it was not a very big vintage but Chateau La Lagune still comes out well in complicated vintages.
What led you to wine?
It is my desire to work with nature and plants that has led me to wine. I like to work in the vineyard and try to understand better the plant, the soil, the climate, and the biodiversity to create harmony. A fulfilled and the balanced vine will produce better grapes. Winemaking is an extension of this work, revealing the best in each grape. It is as fascinating as bringing a child into the world.
What’s your pet peeves about wine?
Everything in the order of fashion and trends. The good thing is that they never last long.
Describe what’s an alcohol-free day like for you?
I get up early to go to the mountains, to run, cross country ski, it depends on the seasons. And I go home to enjoy the rest of the day with my family.
What’s your secret passion?
What kind of wines are in your wine fridge?
I am very curious so I have a lot of very different wines in my cellar. Discovering the world of wine is a vast subject. And there is always a bottle of Champagne.
If you can recommend one wine to any leader in the world, who would it be and what would you recommend?
A bottle of Hermitage La Chapelle 2010 with Gandalf. A bit of imagination is always good.
If you can drink any wine in the world, which wine would you like to have?
Today I would really like to have a bottle of Astéroïde by Dagueneau. But tomorrow who knows… with so many wines to discover.
If you are a wine, how would you imagine your tasting note would be like?
One of the qualities that fascinates me the most in great wines is their ability to improve over time. I try to do the same thing …
What makes you happy?
When I do not have to rush to do the things I love.
Spending time with my daughter and being in my vineyards.
If you can only drink one wine for the rest of your life, what would it be?
Cheval Blanc 1947.