Eric Kohler

Technical Director at Domaines Barons de Rothschild


"I find all vintages have their own challenges. Since I work on three continents every vintage is interesting!" 




Eric Kohler comes from a family of winegrowers in the south of France. After training as an agricultural engineer and oenologist, Eric joined the DBR (Lafite) team in 1994, based in Bordeaux. In 2004, Eric became the Director of Château d'Aussières in Languedoc, and was entrusted with the revival of this historic estate that dates back to Roman times, with the aim of pushing it to the highest rank and setting a new standard for wines from the south of France.

Presently, Eric is Technical Director for all DBR properties outside of Bordeaux and is responsible for the development of DBR’s portfolio over three different continents, in Europe, South America and Asia.


Q & A

How has the Chilean market changed since Domaines Barons de Rothschild entered the arena in the 1980's?

Enormously. Chile has a long history of viniculture. Grapevines were planted in North Chile in the late 16th Century, in the wake of the Spanish conquistadors. When Baron Eric de Rothschild took over the 2,200 ha property in 1988, only 10% of the property was under vine (Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay). These were located in the base of the valley and irrigated through channels. In the years following, we have increased vines under cultivation to 580ha and introduced drip irrigation, which uses a fifth the amount of water compared to channel irrigation. In addition, it enables us to move to the sides of the valley, where we find more interesting terroirs. In tandem with this, we have moved the majority of Chardonnay and all of the Sauvignon Blanc production to Casablanca & Leyda, where we can produce wines with a more French character. Los Vascos is still primarily Cabernet Sauvignon, but as we expand the vineyard, we have planted Carmenère, Malbec and Syrah, which give more complexity, particularly to the Grande Reserve. For the future, we plan to double Los Vascos’s production from 500,000 cases to a million cases per year.


What is the next exciting chapter for Domaine Barons de Rothchild, how is your interest in China developing?

The next chapter is Top Secret! Our joint venture, with CITC, in Penglai, Shandung Province in China is “work in progress”. After seven years of detailed analysis, we chose this peninsula, as it proved to be the most promising area to produce a great wine, in terms of both its climatic and geological conditions. The top quality land which was chosen will enable DBR (Lafite), in the first instance, to plant just over 25 hectares of vines.


In your experience what has been the biggest challenge facing Domaine Barons de Rothschild outside of Bordeaux?

It is the balance of taking into account all the advances in oenology, whilst always ensuring that we maintain the house style of les Domaines Barons de Rothschild (Lafite), with wines that have length and elegance. As Baron Eric says, “wines that make you thirsty”


Who is the person you admire most in the Wine Industry and why?

It has to be Charles Chevallier. I have worked with Charles since 1994. He is a true artist, who is always prepared to share his knowledge and experience...


Your most memorable vintage and why?

To be honest, I find all vintages have their own challenges. Since I work on three continents every vintage is interesting!


What is your biggest interest outside wine?

Running, hiking and sailing


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