Michel Rolland

Francois Poincet
Michel Rolland

Michel Rolland created an entirely new professional category: "flying winemaker." As a consultant, he has worked with more than 150 wineries on four continents, helping to create scores of successful wines.

Born into a wine family in Bordeaux, Rolland grew up at Château Le Bon Pasteur in Pomerol. He studied enology at the University of Bordeaux, where he met his wife and future partner, Dany, graduating in 1972. After opening a wine laboratory, they began consulting in 1985 and before long counted such far-flung clients as Bond and Harlan in Napa Valley, Ornellaia in Italy, Lapostolle in Chile and Grover Vineyards in India. Rolland's guiding principles tend to result in rich wines with ripe fruit and plush structure. Critics charge that his wines all taste the same, but his style has been well-received by consumers. Much of winemaking's progress in recent decades is thanks to the global sharing of ideas, and Rolland has played a key role in that.