Interview with Paul Chevalier of Chateau d’Esclans

By Paul Joseph

The Château d'Esclans wine estate in Provence, southern France, has seen the culmination of a seven-year quest to create the world’s best Rosé wine.’s Shari Liu sat down with Paul Chevalier of Chateau d’Esclans at the recent Miami Boat Show to discuss the journey they took to reach their goal, what makes their product so special, and how the world of wine is evolving. You can view the full video interview above this article.

Shari Liu: Can you tell us a little about the history of Chateau d’Esclans and why it’s named the best Rosé in the world?
Paul Chevalier: Well Chateau d’Esclans is in a very unique place in France in the hills just above St Tropez. It was purchased by Sacha Lichine back in 2006 with the goal to make the best Rosé in the world.

SL: What makes it so special?
PC: Well there are a lot of people who produce Rosé, but Sacha Lichine hired a very special wine maker whose name is Patrick Leon. Patrick was the wine maker for Mouton Rothschild in Bordeaux as well as Opus One in Napa Valley ,and they put together these very unique techniques of hand-picking grapes by using dry ice in the vineyards and using very, very old vines of Grenache and Rolle to produce these very light and pale styles of Rosé.

SL: Is it true Chateau d’Esclans is the most expensive Rosé in the world?
PC: Well here we have the Garrus and the Garrus is by far the most expensive Rosé in the world – very, very exclusive because only a few barrels are produced every year.

SL: So how much is this going to cost at somewhere like Nikki Beach in St Tropez?
PC: Well this is a double magnum, a Jeroboam as we say in French, and would be easily between €800 and €1,000 per bottle.

SL: What are some of the changes that have taken place in the world of Rosé in recent years?
PC: What’s interesting is, especially in the US, we saw the Rosé trend pop up about 10-12 years ago in the Hamptons, and I think it was probably folks who visited St Tropez. Over these past ten years it’s spread, to Miami, to Palm Beach, to Los Angeles, and now also to unusual places like Chicago and even the ski slopes in Aspen.

SL: Yes, can you tell us a little more about your plans in Aspen?
PC: Well we have a unique event coming up next month. We’re taking Rosé Chateau d’Esclans to Aspen for our first pink snow party, and the idea is Rose and Après-ski.

SL: So it’s not just for the beach any more?
PC: It’s not just for the beach, and if you think about it, and this actually started to happen a few years go in the French Alps, when you’re skiing all day and you want to relax, there’s nothing better than a refreshing glass of Rosé.

SL: How would you best describe your clientele?
PC: I think the clientele is certainly very travelled, they have experienced this Rosé lifestyle of the Cote d’Azur. Perhaps a little younger, adventurous, athletic…and they appreciate these styles of dry rose, because remember the French styles of Rosé have zero per cent sugar so they’re not sweet.

SL: What do you think are some new key markets where you will see Rosé popping up in the next few years?
PC: Believe it or not, Asia. Asia is becoming a very, very big Rosé market with the opening of China as a wine market, and also because of the culinary influence of Asian cuisine. If you go to any top restaurant in say Shanghai or Hong Kong the Asian chefs will be pairing those types of foods with Rosé, and it’s spectacular.

SL: Finally, is there anything else I should know about Chateau d’Esclans before I have a sip?
PC: No, apart from the fact we produce a wine called the Whispering Angel which is very well known, and I think that if you ever happen to be in St Tropez come and say hello!

By Paul Joseph