Sunday, October 28, 2007

NEW Winemaker Guests!

Les Fruits De La Vigne is delighted to confirm two new guests to our event on November 29th.
Featured Winemakers Darren Rathbone and Jose Manuel Ortega.

Darren Rathbone

Technical Director – The Rathbone Wine Group

Graduating from Chemical Engineering at Melbourne University in 1995, Darren began work in the wine industry, planting his uncle's vineyard, Laura Barnes, in the Yarra Glen. The Rathbone family purchased Yering Station in 1996 and Darren commenced the planning of a new winery and tourism complex, overseeing its development and construction.
Travelling to France, Darren spent time working with Champagne Devaux’s Head Winemaker, Claude Thibaut. The knowledge he acquired of the traditional Champagne making method, determined the design of equipment for producing ‘Yarrabank’, a joint venture between Devaux and Yering Station. After completing vintage in France , Darren returned to partake in Yering Station’s first vintage in the new winery in 1997. This was also Darren’s first winemaking experience in Australia.

In late 1997, Darren travelled to Chateau Lynch Bages in the Paulliac region of Bordeaux to work vintage with their winemakers. In 1999, Darren was accepted into UC Davis in California, internationally recognised as one of the world’s best wine schools. He completed the two-year Masters of Food Science, Enology program. During his stay in California, Darren worked at two small, high quality Napa Valley wineries, Spottswoode and Etude, for the 2000 harvest. After finishing the Masters program, Darren travelled to Burgundy, working at Domain Moreau in Chassagne Montrachet, in the Cote de Beaune and assisting in the production of the 2001 vintage. Whilst in France, he also returned to Champagne and Bordeaux, and travelled through the Rhone Valley.

Darren returned to Australia and Yering Station in December of 2001, as a winemaker, and a director of the company. Today Darren shares his time and expertise between the four Rathbone family wineries. His experience, in Australia and overseas, adds to the depth of resources that contribute to making Mount Langi Ghiran an internationally renowned and recognised winery.

Jose Manuel Ortega

President - O. Fournier

The O. Fournier Winery

Bodegas Hnos. San Juan López, now Bodegas y Viñedos O.Fournier, was originally founded by the San Juan family from Aranda de Duero (Burgos). The winery was built in 1979, a few years ahead of the creation of the Denominación de Origen Ribera de Duero.

First vines at the vineyard were planted in 1946.

On September 2002, Bodegas y Viñedos O.Fournier Group purchased the winery and vineyards in order to continue with the development of the quality of the wines and become one of the leading wineries in Ribera de Duero.

The winery´s objective is to produce high quality wines using grapes from our vineyards with a total production of 250,000 bottles from a current 80,000 bottles. Marian Santamaría is responsible for producing the wine. José Spisso, Head Winemaker for the Group, assists her during his trips to the Ribera del Duero winery.

Bodegas y Viñedos O.Fournier is producing three wines:

- Alfa Spiga, our top wine, will stay approximately 18 months in new oak every year and at least one year in the bottle.

- Spiga, our second wine, is aged approximately 12 months in oak barrels (new and first use barrels) and six to 12 months in the bottle.

- Urban Oak Ribera, a wine aged 3 months in French oak barrels.

- Blason

Les Fruits De La Vigne looks forward to welcoming these expert winemakers to our event!