Proprietor & President
“My first visit to Bouchaine was for a ‘testing' rather than a ‘tasting',” recalls Tatiana Copeland. “There were two very dilapidated buildings, with bare earth and no vines. However, the beauty of Carneros captured my imagination. Now, 30 years later, the property has truly blossomed into a beautiful country winery.”
Photo: Bruce Philpott
For Tatiana Copeland, the spirit of discovery and commitment to creating a unique and exceptional experience at Bouchaine is simply the natural extension of her roots. Heir to a truly remarkable legacy, Tatiana’s family tree includes such luminaries as her great uncle, composer Sergei Rachmaninoff, and her grandmother, the first woman to drive a car through Moscow’s Red Square. A true polyglot, Tatiana fluently speaks Russian, French, Spanish, German and English.
While her heritage reaches back over 1,000 years in Russia, Tatiana’s personal story began in Dresden, Germany, where she was born. After living in Denmark for several years, the family emigrated to Argentina where she would spend most of her childhood. she says, recalling family gatherings. “As far back “Argentina is legendary for beef and wine,”as I can remember, we enjoyed wine with our meals.”
The family then moved to California where Tatiana enrolled at UCLA and quickly began what would become a remarkable academic and professional career. At UCLA, she would make Phi Beta Kappa before graduating summa cum laude, ranking first in her class of 500. She then went on to earn her M.B.A. at the University of California at Berkeley.
At a time when women in business were rare, Tatiana went to work for Price Waterhouse before putting her multi-cultural perspective, extensive linguistic skills, and strategic business thinking to use at the DuPont Company's European headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland. Soon after she returned to DuPont in Delaware, she met her future husband, Gerret Copeland. They quickly discovered a shared appreciation of beauty, a love of fine wine and food, and a strong commitment to philanthropy.
Tatiana has made it her personal challenge to use her business know-how, leadership skills and community standing to help benefit the world of music, arts and culture. She serves on the board of The Grand Opera House (Wilmington's historic opera house) and as Chairman of the Delaware Symphony Orchestra. She donated a sculpture garden to the Delaware Art Museum and underwrote the new student center at the Delaware College of Art & Design. Her efforts in helping to recreate the “Kalmar Nyckel” (a full-size replica of the ship which brought the first Swedish settlers to America in the 1600s) resulted in her effigy being immortalized with a life-size carving at the ship's bow. She also loves to look out for the underdog – literally. After Hurricane Katrina, Tatiana helped rescue 150 dogs abandoned in New Orleans.
Both Tatiana and Gerret are deeply committed to the arts and have recently established a unique model of community philanthropy for the long-term stabilization of arts and culture in their home state of Delaware. In appreciation of this, they were awarded the "Order of the First State," the highest honor for meritorious service which can be granted by Governor Jack Markell.
Today, Tatiana continues to exercise her business acumen. She directs the winery's marketing and finances, leaving the wines themselves in the hands of her husband and the winemaking team. Her pencil is at its sharpest when she is balancing beauty and the bottom-line at Bouchaine. “With my CPA background, where Bouchaine in concerned, my head is constantly battling my heart – and sometimes even my husband,” she laughs. “We need to be financially responsible as well as make exceptional wines. Like searching for the Holy Grail, it’s a challenge, but I think we are succeeding.”
Looking out at Bouchaine's vineyards she shares these thoughts, “It's tempting to linger here, enjoying the countryside with a glass of our Estate Pinot Noir. I want our visitors to experience the same connection to the land and the wine at Bouchaine that I do.”