You are currently viewing the International Edition. You can also switch to the Hong Kong Edition.
Wednesday 1 July 2015

The Proust Q&A: Eileen Crane

22nd November, 2012 by Lucy Shaw

Eileen Crane is the CEO and chief winemaker of Domaine Carneros, considered the jewel in Napa’s sparkling crown. Crane has worked at the Taittinger-owned estate for 25 years, where she makes a number of different still and sparkling wines, including prestige cuvée Le Rêve. She lives in the Napa Valley with her husband.

1: What is your idea of perfect happiness?

Sitting outside on the deck as the sun sets on a Friday night with a bottle of bubbles by my side.

2: What is your greatest fear?

The moment when I have to blend Le Rêve every year. As it only happens once a year, when the moment comes around, there’s always that fear that you won’t be able to do it again.

3: Which living person do you most admire?

Margaret Thatcher – not because I agreed with her beliefs but because she stuck to her beliefs.

4: What is your greatest extravagance?

Two hot fudge sundaes on my birthday.

5: What is your current state of mind?

Relief that Obama has been re-elected.

6: What is the quality you most like in a man?

Compassion and the ability to cook well.

7: What or who is the greatest love of your life?

My husband.

8: When and where were you happiest?

In the early ’90s I was asked to lecture on wine on a cruise ship that travelled from Monte Carlo to Istanbul. The boat was filled with food, wine and art lovers, and we talked late into the night, hopping off all over the place and having dinner on cliff edges as the sun set. It was magical.

9: Which talent would you most like to have?

To be able to sing beautifully.

10: If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?

I’d like to be able to give up my addiction to sweets and stop obsessing about things.

11: What do you consider your greatest achievement?

Creating and maintaining Le Rêve.

12: Where would you most like to live?

Right where I am in Napa Valley.

13: What is your most treasured possession?

A Japanese scroll my late parents gave me with an illustration that looks like the drive up to Mendocino. I have it displayed in my front room.

14: What is your most marked characteristic?

Dedication.

15: Who are your favorite writers?

Jane Austen and Margaret Frazer – I love a good mystery.

16: Who is your hero of fiction?

Elizabeth Bennet from Pride and Prejudice.

17: What is it that you most dislike?

People who posture over wine. I can’t stand wine bores.

18: What is your greatest regret?

That I was not as kind as I could have been early on in life.

19: What is your motto?

The famous Will Rogers quote: “Even if you’re on the right track, if you’re just sitting there you’ll get run over.”

20: Who would be your ideal dinner party guests and what three wines would you serve them?

I’d like to mix it up with characters from history, so I’d have Thomas Jefferson, Jane Austen. Ghandi, Mao Zedong, Genghis Khan and Noah. I’d begin with Le Rêve 2006 to show them Napa can make sparklers as good as Champagne, then we’d move on to the famous 1787 Lafite that purportedly belonged to Thomas Jefferson who could authenticate it. We’d then try one of Noah’s wines, as he was said to be the first person on earth to make wine, and we’d end with a bottle of Champagne from the 1850s. Conversation would definitely be flowing by then.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

If that's interesting, how about these?

UK importer confident of Champagne comeback

One leading UK Champagne importer is optimistic for the future of the category more...

How to become a 'wine expert' in four hours

A doctor of psychology has devised 10 simple steps which he claims can set you more...

Top 10 estates for en primeur returns

db rounds up the 10 best Bordeaux estates for en primeur returns on more...

Warehouse Supervisor

London, United Kingdom

£27,000-£30,000 depending on experience

Top 10 worst estates for en primeur returns

Using Liv-ex's data, db rounds up the worst 10 châteaux for en primeur more...

Asda warns suppliers of Champagne scam

Asda is warning suppliers to be on guard after several companies received more...

World's most extravagant wineries

With Château Margaux preparing to unveil its new winery and cellar, designed more...

Top 12 Australian fine wines

Australian fine wines have made the headlines of late. But what are the names more...

Top 10 banned alcoholic drinks

The drinks trade has seen its fair share of drinks banned from public more...

Top 10 ways to reuse a wine bottle

If you are anything like the db team, it won't take long to amass a collection more...

International Business Development Assistant

London, United Kingdom

To be determined, based on the profile and experience of the candidate

Top wines of Bordeaux 2014

The 10 best wines of the Bordeaux 2014 vintage as voted for by Liv-ex’s more...

Top 10 modern wine drinker stereotypes

From Rioja lovers to Champagne quaffers, the drinks business has more...

10 richest people in the UK drinks trade

As The Sunday Times Rich List 2015 reveals the wealthiest individuals in more...

PR Manager

Competitive

Top 10 wine brands 2015

In a year that saw major shifts in the global wine market, the drinks business more...

Castel feeds aperitif thirst

Europe’s largest wine producer, Castel, has unveiled a raft of new products more...

Top 10 architectural wonders of the wine world

You don't have to look far to find stunning examples of architectural prowess more...

E-commerce, Sales & Marketing Executive

London, United Kingdom

Competitive salary and bonus package based on experience and qualification.

Top 10 Negroni spots in London

As the Campari Red Night District takes over London's Shoreditch, we round up more...

The London Wine Fair in pictures

From red trews and foie gras macaroons to 2CVs, wine on tap and temporary more...

Top 10 new products

This month's top releases include a Champagne tankard designed by Pol Roger, more...

Sales Executive - Wines & Spirits Competitions

London, United Kingdom

Competitive

Cristal launches 'underrated' vintage

Champagne Louis Roederer has released its Cristal prestige cuvée from the more...

Suntory's exquisite 3D-printed ice cubes

As far as advertising campaigns go, this collection of miniature ice cube more...