John Kolasa, managing director of Margaux second growth Chateau Rauzan Segla since 1994, and of Saint Emilion Premier Grand Cru Classe Chateau Canon since 1996, will be officially stepping down from his post at the end of July 2015.
Kolasa was managing director of both Chateau Rauzan Segla and Chateau Canon
Kolasa announced his intention to retire in June 2014, when Nicolas Audebert was hired as co-managing director from LVMH’s Cheval des Andes in Argentina, but it was expected that he would stay until after the 2015 harvest.
The two wine properties, owned by luxury goods house Chanel, are now run totally separately from the negociant company Ulysses Cazabonne, started by Kolasa while he was working at Chateau Latour and brought over to Rauzan Segla with him. It is not yet clear if Kolasa will also step down from his role with the negociant – although Francois Dugoua is already working as managing director.
‘I have had the opportunity to work alongside John for the past year,’ Audebert told decanter.com, ‘to understand the estates and to work a full season in the vineyards and cellar. I have not travelled much over the past 12 months, and instead concentrated on understanding the team and the many small details that are essential to producing these great wines.’
There will be plenty to keep him busy. Over the past decade, Rauzan Segla has gone from 52 hectares in 2003 to 74 hectares, with the addition of new plots such as the 8 hectare Boston – the site for the estate’s increasing experimentation with organic farming. Canon has equally seen numerous investments and renovations and now stands at 34 hectares with the addition of new vineyard plots.
‘We are extremely pleased with the 2014 vintage, and its success has given everyone great confidence that we can now build on John’s achievements going forward, not making any drastic changes simply increasing the precision and finessing details,’ said Audebert. ‘I am looking forward to bringing my own perspective and ideas.’
Written by Jane Anson