Charles Chevallier is to step back from his position as technical director at Château Lafite Rothschild, moving into a new advisory role and to be replaced in his current job by Eric Kohler, the Bordeaux first growth estate has announced.

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Charles Chevallier, who joined Domaines Barons de Rothschild in 1982 and worked first at Château Rieussec in Sauternes before being appointed general technical director and estate manager with primary responsibility for Château  Lafite Rothschild over the past three decades, is to retire from his full-time role in Pauillac from January 2016.

Chevallier will move into a newly created ‘senior advisor’ role. He will be replaced as technical director at Lafite and the other Bordeaux estates of Duhart-Milon, L’Evangile and Rieussec, by Eric Kohler.

Kohler is a long-time colleague who began working on quality control at Lafite alongside Chevallier in 1994 and has since worked at DBR Lafite properties in Argentina, Languedoc-Roussillon, Chile and China.

At the same time, Olivier Trégoat, a vineyard specialist originally from Normandy who completed his PhD on the terroirs of Bordeaux first growths and who has worked as an advisor to the group for the past 10 years, will take up a new role as technical director of all properties outside of the Bordeaux region.

Chevallier’s new role will put him in charge of relations with private and public institutions, acting as worldwide ambassador for the DBR (Lafite) wines.

‘Charles Chevallier has carried out remarkable work… and played an important role in Lafite’s renewed success in recent years,’ Baron Eric de Rothschild said.

Chevallier is originally from a winemaking family near Montpellier but he has lived in Bordeaux since 1973 when he worked as a trainee at Château la Tour de By.

DBR (Lafite) controls 1,200 hectares of its own vineyards worldwide.

(Editing by Chris Mercer)