To say that Chandon Winemaker Pauline Lhote is passionate about sparkling wine, is an understatement. She grew up in Champagne, knowing 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 Moët & 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 rosé Champagnes, so she spent time creating red wines used in producing rosé sparkling wines, including the coveted Dom Perignon Rosé.
In 2005, Pauline took her experience to another esteemed Champagne producer, Nicolas Feuillatte, as consulting winemaker, making reds for rosé 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 a full-time winemaking team of three in crafting America’s premier sparkling wines and has just completed her 11th harvest at Chandon.