John Kolasa of Chateau Rauzan-Ségla - Biography


March 2012

John Kolasa is the managing director of Chateau Rauzan-Ségla in Margaux, France, and at Chateau Canon in Saint-Emilion, France. Born in Scotland, Kolasa’s Francophilia (and first career as a French teacher) brought him to Bordeaux in 1971. It was his desire to start a new adventure that he met Englishman William Bolter and American Steven Schneider who owned a wine company. His career in wine began with work on the quays in Bordeaux and a year of weekly oenology studies. After four years with Bolter and Schneider, Kolasa began looking after properties belonging to the Janoueix family in Saint-Emilion and Pomerol, followed by two years with the Union des Producteurs in Saint-Emilion. In 1987, he was asked to take over the commercial manager position at Chateau Latour in Pauillac.

Remaining at Latour until 1994, Kolasa’s new challenge began when Chanel acquired Chateau Rauzan-Ségla and he was brought on to oversee the operation at the chateau and rebuild the reputation of what was known in the 19th century as the best of the second growths. Indeed, in the 1855 classification, Rauzan- Ségla was situated right behind Mouton Rothschild which is now a first growth.

Following this initial acquisition, in 1996 Chanel decided to purchase Chateau Canon, a first growth in Saint-Emilion on the right bank of Bordeaux. Kolasa has overseen the extensive renovation program that was undertaken to reveal the finesse and elegance of its terroir and bring back the great wines of Chateau Canon. In 2011, Canon purchased Chateau Matras, Grand Cru Classé to add to the production of its second wine, Clos Canon.

Kolasa is a member of the Commanderie du Bontemps de Médoc et des Graves Sauternes et Barsac and was most recently inducted as a member of the Jurade de Saint-Emilion.
He lives in Margaux with his wife, Delphine and has four children, Claire, Helene, Elise, and Victor.