Tuesday, August 22, 2006

A Wine Prophet?

The other day I was reading through some wine periodicals and found some information on Andre Tschelistcheff (1901-1994). A talented winemaker who produced California's Beaulieu Vineyard’s first Georges de Latour Private Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon in 1938. This wine established the benchmark of quality for all California wines and Washington state has certainly followed that standard.

Tschelistcheff was born in Russia and fought with the White Russian Army during the Russian Civil War. At the later age of thirty-six he studied wine. In California, Tchelistcheff set standards for improved winery hygiene, new fermentation techniques, and viticultural practices. Today his pioneer influence has a profound effect on contemporary winemakers.

His winemaking legacy continues to this day with Quilceda Creek Vintners. His nephew Alex Golitzin was born in France at the beginning of World War II. In 1946 his family immigrated to California where they settled close to his Uncle Andre. In 1974, with Uncle Andre’s help, Alex made his first barrel of Cabernet and more barrels followed. In 1978 Quilceda Creek Winery was established and in 1979 the first Quilceda Creek Cabernet Sauvignon was produced for sale. Four years later this wine received a Gold Medal and a Grand Prize at the Enological Society Festival in Seattle, the only Cabernet Sauvignon to achieve this honor to this day. And this world class wine continues to achieve greatness with their most recent vintage.

During Andre Tschelistcheff's wine making career he was asked, where the greatest wine in the United States is made and his answer was:

"It hasn't been made yet, but when it is, it will be made in the Pacific Northwest."

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