Edouard Rollat came to America in 1903 with his lovely wife, Sophie, and their young daughter, Ida.Â Edouard was an imposing figure, standing six feet two inches tall and weighing well over 200 pounds.Â He was a serious, stately man who almost always wore a suit and either a straw hat or bowler.Â His mustache was neatly cropped and groomed. Sophie was a soft spoken person of elegance and grace. She had long, flowing hair which she wore swirled atop her head like a large cinnamon roll. They emigrated from central France and western Switzerland where their family had made wine for many generations.
A classic American story for the time, Rollat began plying his trade in New York where their ship had arrived. He quickly rose in stature and position to become the wine steward/sommelier at the prestigious CafÃ© Martin on 27th St.
Throughout his adult life, Rollat was a prominent figure in the New York City wine business. In 1920, when the Eighteenth Amendment established Prohibition, Rollat's beloved wine cellar at CafÃ© Martin was closed and became an orange juice warehouse. He maintained his connection with the wine business by writing, teaching, and speaking about great wines and wine making. In 1933 with the repeal of Prohibition, Rollat joined the Vendome wine house as its leading wine authority. He continued to consult for restaurants, write articles and teach.
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