Bordeaux consultant Stephane Derenoncourt is stepping into the shoes of Andre Tchelistcheff and other renowned winemakers at the Niebaum Coppola winery in Napa.
Coppola has hired Derenoncourt and his Bordeaux-based company Vignerons Consultants to work on the company’s five Napa Valley brands with responsibility for 150ha of vineyards.
‘We’re very excited about our new relationship with Stephane Derenoncourt,’ said Niebaum Coppola’s Larry Stone.
Derenoncourt follows some illustrious winemakers at Rubicon Estate: Andre Tchelistcheff, Tony Soter, Heidi Barrett, and most recently David Ramey.
Derenoncourt said, after meeting Francis Ford Coppola earlier this year, ‘Francis isn’t happy with the quality now and wanted something more “true” on his home property.’
His only other North American consultancy is with Virginia’s Boxwood Winery.
‘California wines are often easy to taste but difficult to drink. I intend to do something different,’ the Frenchman said. In addition to the two US consultancies he is about to release the ‘Derenoncourt’ label made at Cuvaison and John Caldwell wineries.
Derenoncourt also has projects in Turkey, China, and India. He has recently taken up work with Lebanon’s Saadé family at their Chateau Marsyas in Bekaa Valley, and Domaine de Bargylus along the Syrian coast.
Written by David Furer