FOODIES WEST.COM         
 EILEEN CRANE, Domaine Carneros
November 2014 Issue / Vol. 2, No. 22                               A great wine will speak for itself.
















      
Levy on Pairing (Part one)
Owner/Chef Doug Levy


      
Executive Pastry Chef
Lance Whipple


     
November 2014
 Chef's Larder


     
Executive Chef
James Wallace


DOMAINE CARNEROS


Sparkling Holiday Hotline:



            
Under, over, sideways, down—this herb's got it covered

      
Bourbon Steak

     
Chesapeake Bitters
 Old Fashioned

by Ciaran Wiese


      
Roberto Serrallés
Distilería Serrallés


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Synopsis: Eileen Crane, CEO & Founding Winemaker, Domaine Carneros, Napa Valley, California

When she finished classes at UC Davis, to Domaine Chandon for a winemaking job. In May, too early for technical positions, she landed one as a part-time tour guide. When the pastry chef left, her CIA experience got her into the kitchen. Then the first winemaker quit, and the chemist who was going to run the harvest came down and asked her to work in the laboratory for a six-week job. “Of course, that was the break I was waiting for,” Crane said. “Six years later, I’d become the assistant winemaker.” The owners of Spain’s Freixenet sparkling wine bought acreage in Carneros Sonoma Valley, named it Gloria Ferrer Caves & Vineyards after the owner’s wife, and hired Crane in 1984 to run it. Crane said she didn’t, at first, realize they expected her to build the winery, but took the job knowingly but inexperienced. She hired a contractor and got the job done. Three years later, Claude Taittinger, of the storied French champagne house, bought land in the Carneros AVA in Napa Valley. He hired Crane to head Domaine Carneros and create the perfect blanc de blancs. Included was the task of supervising the construction of the winery’s signature château inspired by the Taittingers’ 18th-century Louis XV-style Château de la Marquetterie in Champagne, France. After building Ferrer by fire, this proved no problem. “I think sometimes people think they have to have fancy things with a great sparkling wine. A great wine will speak for itself. You don’t have to gussy it up. Think of Audrey Hepburn and a little black dress. All she needed was a strand of pearls with a perfect little black dress. You don’t need all these extraneous things. If you have that perfect little black dress or that perfect wine, it doesn’t need a lot of foils.”