This blog was originally published on the C&B UK website.
Nina Mitjavile’s passion for wine was ignited as a child playing in the vines and among the barrels in her father’s wine cellar. This developed into a career thanks to winemaking studies and various internships, which in turn led to her key position in the family estates, Tertre Roteboeuf and Roc de Cambes. Nina has managed Roc de Cambes, in the Cote de Bourg, for more than ten years.
HOW DID YOU END UP WORKING IN THE WINE INDUSTRY?
Very naturally, my parents are winegrowers, the vat room and the vines were my playroom. I had a good idea of this profession which bathed their lives and therefore also ours, of my brothers and me. After short viticulture-oenology studies and a “young farmers” training in Languedoc, I joined the family estates.
WHO IN THE INDUSTRY HAS INSPIRED YOU OR HAS THERE BEEN A PARTICULAR EXPERIENCE THAT HAS IMPACTED ON YOUR JOURNEY?
As a child I had a case of nine red scent cubes to play guessing, I loved this game (I found it for my daughter and now the range of scents is much wider). Before I was fifteen, there was also my father who made me smell the wines without having the right to taste them, deprived of breaking the ban on drinking alcohol, I was very focused on what I smelled.
WHAT IS IT LIKE BEING A WINEMAKER IN YOUR REGION AND COUNTRY?
I live in Saint-Emilion so it’s rather banal and however there is always a kind of mystery or magic around it. For me, it’s simply a profession that I love, but we are also carriers of a small part of our cultural heritage.
WHAT HAVE BEEN YOUR GREATEST CHALLENGES IN THE INDUSTRY?
A winegrower must intervene, raise a wine… let it be and you will have vinegar while losing know-how, but at the same time this action must be discreet. It is a challenge that comes up every year and that we always try to improve.
IF YOU ARE STUCK AT HOME DURING A PANDEMIC FOR OVER A YEAR, WHAT WOULD BE YOUR GO TO RED AND WHITE WINE TO SURVIVE AND WHY?
Not only reds and whites, to survive you will also need ports, sherry, champagnes…Difficult to make a choice, there are so many interesting wines, terroirs and winegrowers.
WHAT WILL WE FIND YOU DOING WHEN YOU’RE NOT IN THE VINEYARD OR MAKING WINE?
Walk, tinker, garden, cook, read, watch movies, celebrate, enjoy.