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Our winemaking processes honor our exceptional fruit with meticulous winemaking that reveals the distinctive varietal personality of the grapes. Whites are cold-fermented to retain their bright, vibrant character, while Reds undergo cold-soaking for optimum extraction of color, flavor and tannin, followed by small-barrel fermentation and aging in oak barrels selected for their type of oak, level of toast and age. To determine the best blends, we keep each small vineyard lot separate throughout the entire winemaking process. This allows us to note the effect of clone, soil, microclimate and growing season on the developing wine from each vineyard parcel. We then blend the individual barrel lots to create wines that are the best expression of their terroir.
- (Doerper, John, Constance Jones, and Sharron Wood. California Wine Country. New York: Fodor’s Travel, Random House, 2007. Page 394)
André Tchelistcheff, the most profoundly influential winemaker in Napa Valley, guided the philosophy of innovation and terroir expression that defines the wines of Beaulieu Vineyard today. Born into an aristocratic Russian family, Tchelistcheff studied viticulture and enology at the Pasteur Institute and the Institute National Agronomique in Paris. When he arrived at Beaulieu Vineyard, he brought with him European methods of cultivation and pruning and insisted upon increasing the level of sanitation in the winery. That was just the beginning. He soon tasted wine from each parcel of the Rutherford estate and set about experimenting with the kind of rigorous small-lot fermentation that continues to this day. Among his many other innovations were building a cold room to ferment white wines and establishing malolactic fermentation as standard practice when making red wines. He also tasted a special lot of 1936 Cabernet Sauvignon and insisted that its quality demanded a separate bottling. This became the inaugural vintage of Georges de Latour Private Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon.
Although André Tchelistcheff retired from Beaulieu Vineyard in 1973, he returned in 1991 to work with our current winemaker Jeffrey Stambor. Together they tasted 50 vintages of Georges de Latour Private Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon, studying the effects of vintage and bottle age on the vertical collection. They also instituted the aging of red wines in French oak and experimented with a number of small lot wines such as the "Maestro" winery exclusive wines, which were named in Tchelistcheff's honor.
“It's an exciting time to be a winemaker at Beaulieu Vineyard, and I'm especially proud of the care we've taken to improve our historic Rutherford estate. Our vineyards are a rich source of inspiration, the creative spark that helps us guide our wines to reveal the distinctive flavor and personality of each terroir.”
- Jeffrey Stambor -
Beaulieu Winemaker Jeffrey Stambor, a protégé of André Tchelistcheff, says his experience working with “The Maestro” early in his career at Beaulieu continues to shape his winemaking philosophy today. Raised in Youngstown, Ohio, Jeffrey started at Beaulieu Vineyard in 1989 as viticulturist/enologist, after completing studies in viticulture at the University of California at Davis. To broaden his knowledge of international winemaking, Jeffrey worked in France’s Cotes de Castillon and in Argentina. As winemaker at Beaulieu Vineyard, Jeffrey integrates his experiences and relationships into crafting the world class wines first envisioned by Georges de Latour in 1900.
BV has a strong history of growing grapes on some of the best sites in Napa Valley. Beginning in 1904, Georges de Latour propelled this wine growing region onto the world stage with his first vineyard purchase in Rutherford - known as BV Ranch #1. Today, with more than 1,100 acres of estate vineyards and long-term relationships with our grower partners, Beaulieu Vineyard is the largest producer of Cabernet Sauvignon in Napa Valley. We focus on combining our long term knowledge of each vineyard with extensive research on clones, trellising styles, and viticultural techniques. The results are finely tuned growing practices for each location that produce the absolute highest quality grapes.
BV 2, the second property purchased by Georges de Latour, lies just south of BV 1 on the west side of Highway 29 in Rutherford. Its 85 planted acres include Cabernet Sauvignon-UCD clones 4, 6 and 7-as well as a small amount of Sauvignon Blanc. Like BV 1, this site enjoys optimal sun exposure and cool fog, for a long, even growing season to produce full bodied wines with the signature “Rutherford Dust” flavor profile first coined by Andre Tchelistcheff over fifty years ago.