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Charles Bieler is a winemaker and an innovator, with an eye for creative opportunity, an ability to spot an opening before it materializes, and a knack for taking two or three outrageous propositions and combining them into a winner.
Charles’ history gave him an uncanny eye for innovation alongside a healthy respect for tradition. His first years in the wine business were in the early 90s, when his father founded Chateau Routas, an acclaimed producer of Grenache-based rosé and red wine ¬in the Coteaux Varois region of Provence. That time stoked a lifelong passion for rosé that has not diminished decades later. Back in the days when rosé was considered gauche, Charles traversed the US in a pink Cadillac, promoting the Routas rosé, helping to light a fire under what is now a highly respected category in the US market. Charles continues to beat the pink drum, crafting Bieler Père et Fils, a Syrah-based wine from France made with his father, and the eponymous Charles & Charles, produced with Charles Smith of Washington state’s K Vitners.
Always intrigued by the intersection between Old and New World winemaking, Charles has consistently sought out projects that span a remarkable array of regions. Within that variety, Charles loves the energy and exchange of ideas which launched the Three Thieves line in 2001, soon followed with the Bandit label in Tetra Pak containers, one of the most successful alternative packaging wines in the industry. In 2008, Charles partnered with winemaker Charles Smith to launch Charles & Charles wines, a collection of terroir-driven wines reflecting the best of Washington State. Charles co-founded a keg wine business called the Gotham Project which led the wine-on-tap trend at restaurants. In recent years Charles has even further explored with projects The SHOW based in both Argentina and California, and Shatter, a Grenache from Maury France. Eventually Charles and his father sold Chateau Routas and established Bieler Père et Fils—meaning father and son—to focus solely on rosé. And rosé is still the wine that Charles asserts has a vibrancy and nuance unlike any other. Food & Wine Magazine named Charles as ong of the “40 Big Food Thinkers Under 40.” In 2014, Charles was recognized in the Wine Enthusiast’s 40 under 40 America’s Tastemakers.
During his college years at the University of Colorado, Charles captained the school’s NCAA-championship ski team, and was on track to be a top ranked US ski racer. Though he changed course and turned his focus on the wine industry, his passion for the mountains and for skiing remains to this day. He is involved with a number of charities such as POW and 1% For The Planet that benefit preservation of the outdoors, where he can frequently be found trail running. Bieler lives in New York City with his wife, food and wine writer Kristen Wolfe Bieler, and three children, Sabine, Gabriel, and Daisy.
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