Chloé Weber - Winemaker

Chloé Weber « I like to say that the Jura is beautiful, sometimes very hard, and that it must be earned»

Where are you from ?

I'm from Alsace and I'm not from the wine world at all! I even grew up in Africa until I was ten, my parents were expatriates there.

In your childhood, what was your relationship with wine ? 

Wine has always been part of our discussions and on our tables, along with good food. My family often feasted well, no matter the place or the occasion.

Admittedly, in the Republic of Congo, it is not really part of the local culture, but wine was available through imports, sometimes even good wine. I was a little young at the time, so even diluted in the bottom of my Duralex glass, I was not yet passionate; with my sister we were rather sipping Cola in the returnable glass bottle, barefoot on the edge of the dirt track, under the tropical climate of Pointe-Noire!

How did you get into the wine world ?

I was a scientist, I wanted to do renewable energy, I liked experimentation, R&D and good things. We had grown up respecting our resources and we had experienced scarcity.

I decided to do a DUT in Biological Engineering. A very rich training that sweeps all sectors of the food industry and is led by professionals. We looked at all aspects of the fermentation process and therefore oenology. The speaker was a fascinating person, everything comes from there. I asked her how to be like her: she told me that I had to do a DNO (National Diploma of Oenology). I did my DUT validation internship in a winery in Alsace to make sure that I was heading towards the right career path. I was convinced, but I needed a Bac + 3 to access the DNO, so I did a Licence Biologie biochimie terre et environnement in Reims, to start preparing my place in the region...

Have you had any experiences abroad?

After graduation, I decided to see the new world of wine, to travel a bit. California, New Zealand... It's in my blood. I did a lot of travelling on my own, I took the opportunity to "perfect" my technical English, to work in the field, I saw things done in the rules of the art, others less so. I said to myself that we were fine elsewhere, but that here, we are privileged. Whether it's because of the system, but also because of the gentle way of life, the French epicureanism. We eat well and drink well. There is a real know-how, traditions, enthusiasts, lovers. But we must be careful not to rest on our laurels. Back in France, I grew up right away. I worked alongside men who pushed me to choose the challenge. These Jedi Masters believed in me and offered me high opportunities very early on.

Why set down your bags in the Jura?

I fell in love with the Jura, literally. With its mysterious, unique but varied side. There is no trouble in the Jura. I like to say that the Jura is beautiful, sometimes very hard, and that it must be earned. Only the True Ones can understand that, those who venture there and listen to the wine, and its history. I had one foot in the local, reasoned, organic approach from a personal point of view. Then I put the other one through my job. Today I am satisfied that the two are in agreement to move forward in this direction, with Domaine Rolet. Innovation while respecting the traditions and heritage left by the Rolet family, a precise and rigorous quality work.

What are the future challenges for Domaine Rolet?

The recent conversion to organic allows us to think outside the box and to dream up new vintages: there is no history, which gives full rein to our imagination. We are also going to affirm our work on plot selections, technical itineraries, the preparation of the wines for bottling, the choice of containers for vinification or ageing... The arrival of organic in the cellar is also leading us to a more logistical reflection: rethink the dimensioning of our vat room, our equipment, limit inputs and actions. We are trying to put people back at the centre of the culture while giving the wine a chance to express itself. This requires us to question ourselves and to change our daily habits. The idea is to make wines that are fruity, precise and delicious. Generally speaking, making wine at Domaine Rolet means working on the plot, with our own grapes, adapted and functional equipment, and cellar workers who operate with precision, rigour and reliability and who love their job. The Rolet family has passed on to the team their passion and sense of a job well done. The Domaine Rolet, as a whole, is a young and dynamic team of people who love what they do and their business, which is a legacy.