The Napa Valley Register’s latest wine column offers an in depth feature story on Champagne Ayala and Cellar Master Caroline Latrive.
The story opens by sharing the legacies of other female pioneers in the region, including Lily Bollinger, with the commonality that each obtained their leadership role as result of being widowed. Champagne is an industry famously run by men, but today there is finally progress being made with more women “making their mark in the Champagne industry,” including Caroline Latrive. Levine then shares details of Latrive’s impressive resume leading up to her current position as chef de cave of Champagne Ayala.
For those that aren’t familiar with Ayala’s colorful past, it is worth reading this article in full as Levine offers great historical context and insight on the House style. As its ambassador for more than a decade, Latrive has the opportunity to be creative while also perpetuating “Champagne Ayala’s style of freshness, elegance, and purity.” In fact, Latrive “has more than 120 different tanks to work with, resulting in a large palate of aromatics to make her final blends for different cuvees.”
Levine had the opportunity to taste through the Ayala range with Latrive via Zoom and discussed each wine and food pairing recommendations. In the story, she shares detailed tasting notes on Brut Majeur, Rosé Majeur, Brut Nature, Le Blanc de Blancs 2013 and Perle d’Ayala 2006.
They also discussed the positive momentum of more women taking an interest in careers in the Champagne industry, evidenced by the BBC’s report that “60 percent of enology students in Champagne today are women.” The story closes with Latrive’s point of view that “It is not a question of gender but one of passion and tenacity.” Please do read the full story HEREAyala-Feature_Napa-Valley-Register_-1_7_21
Ayala is one of the most exciting stories in Champagne today, almost the definition of a boutique Champagne producer. Independently owned, a small, young and dynamic team handles every step of production from grape reception to labeling in their jewel of a facility with incredible precision, crafting Chardonnay-focused wines that deliver immense pleasure, freshness, and elegance.