As director of winemaking at Chandon, Pauline Lhote is responsible for overseeing the day-to-day cellar operations, including tirage, crush, blending and dosage trials.
To say that Pauline is passionate about Champagne is an understatement. She grew up in Champagne, knew she wanted to make Champagne from an early age and chose her higher education based on attaining that goal.
While earning a National Diploma of Winemaking in Reims, Champagne, Pauline gained hands-on experience at Moet & Chandon where she performed maturity controls, winemaking trials and cellar work. Her work there in 2004 coincided with the Champagne house's increased focus on crafting rose champagnes, so she spent time creating red wines used in producing rose sparkling wines, including the coveted Dom Perignon Rose.
In 2005, Pauline took her experience to another esteemed Champagne producer, Nicolas Feuillatte, as consulting winemaker, making reds for rose sparklers in addition to creating more base wines, performing dosage trials and learning the art of blending.
Pauline then felt an urge to have international winemaking experience but remaining true to her Champagne roots, she set her sights on Domaine Chandon in the Napa Valley, the first French-owned sparkling wine house in California. Pauline arrived in Yountville for a three-month contract in late 2006, fell in love with Napa Valley and stayed.
Today, Pauline leads the winemaking team in crafting America's premier sparkling wines.
Country born: France
Education: National Diploma of Winemaking
Years in the wine industry: 15-20 years
I grew up in Champagne, knew I wanted to make Sparkling wine since I was 14... love the complexity around the Sparkling process. My winemaking philiosophy: let the terroir and fruit expression shine.