Beaulieu Vineyard Pays Tribute to the 'Father of California Winemaking'

Unveils Bronze Statue of Andre Tchelistcheff by Renowned

Sculptor William Behrends; Debuts 'Maestro' Pinot Noir

Aug 06, 2002, 01:00 ET from Beaulieu Vineyard

    RUTHERFORD, Calif., Aug. 6 /PRNewswire/ -- Paying tribute to the Russian
 emigre whose delicate palate and technical expertise are credited for putting
 California on the map of the world's best wine-producing regions, Beaulieu
 Vineyard today unveiled a statue of Andre Tchelistcheff at a ceremony held at
 the Culinary Institute of America, Greystone, in St. Helena.
     (Photo: )
     Presiding at the unveiling was Joel Aiken, vice president of winemaking at
 Beaulieu Vineyard.  Among the speakers were Dorothy Tchelistcheff, Andre's
 widow, John DeLuca, President of the California Wine Institute and spokesman
 for the state's wine industry, its wineries and winegrowers, as well as Napa
 Valley Congressman Mike Thompson, member of the House Agriculture Committee
 and co-founder and co-chair of the Congressional Wine Caucus.  Additional
 remarks were offered by a number of Andre's former students.
     The Napa Valley Symphony provided musical entertainment, with special
 performances by members of the Russian National Orchestra and the San
 Francisco Opera.
     Beaulieu Vineyard (BV) also released the new 2000 "Maestro" Pinot Noir, a
 limited edition wine, made in honor of Tchelistcheff, the "father of
 California winemaking."  Tchelistcheff's experience as an enologist, his
 ability to communicate and his happiness among the vines of his adopted home,
 the Napa Valley, gained him the affectionate title of  "Maestro."
     "As winemakers, we are all indebted to Andre Tchelistcheff for his passion
 for creating world-class wine, for his great sensitivity and for his
 willingness to chart a new course that many of America's most talented
 winemakers are still on right here in California," said Joel Aiken, who side
 by side with Tchelistcheff created new BV wines and the future of the winery.
 "The wines he produced at Beaulieu Vineyard became the stuff of legends and
 the wines of Presidents."
     As a highlight of the unveiling event, BV presented its prestigious
 Maestro Award, named in honor of Andre, to Dorothy Tchelistcheff.  The Maestro
 Award is given by BV "for distinguished service and outstanding contributions
 to the American wine industry," and in the case of this year's recipient, for
 her "love and devotion to the Maestro."
     From 1938 to 1973, while at BV, Tchelistcheff revolutionized winemaking in
 the Napa Valley and the world by demonstrating that sound hygiene affected the
 final quality of wine, something unrecognized by vintners at the time.  He
 became a friend and mentor to many of Napa Valley's farmers and winemakers,
 offering technical services and guidance to struggling wine producers.
     At the event, Dorothy Tchelistcheff unveiled a bronze statue of her
 husband, created by world-renowned sculptor William Behrends, whose work
 includes the monumental-scale bronze statue of baseball legend Willie Mays
 that stands at the entrance to Pacific Bell Park in downtown San Francisco.
 The statue of Andre will stand on the main floor of the Culinary Institute for
 12-18 months before it is moved to its permanent home at BV.
     The unveiling took place at an early evening reception at the Culinary
 Institute of America.  The debut of the 2000 "Maestro" Pinot Noir took place
 at a dinner at the CIA immediately after the unveiling ceremony.  BV released
 just 300 cases of this commemorative wine, all in magnums (1.5L).  Each bottle
 will sell for $100, one dollar for every year since the birth of Andre
     Players from the Russian National Orchestra performed with the Napa Valley
 Symphony in honor of a fellow countryman.  Tchelistcheff was born to a noble
 family in Moscow on December 7, 1901.  He studied zoology, physiology,
 chemistry and other subjects in Czechoslovakia and at both the Pasteur
 Institute and the Institut National Agronomique in Paris.  He emigrated to the
 U.S. in 1938 and died in 1994.
     Just an hour's drive from San Francisco, Beaulieu Vineyard is located in
 the town of Rutherford in the heart of the Napa Valley.  Beaulieu Vineyard is
 one of California's oldest and most prestigious wine producers.  Founded in
 1900 by French immigrant Georges de Latour, BV has earned its place of
 distinction among the finest wines in the world.
     Diageo Chateau & Estate Wines, a division of Diageo North America, with
 principal offices in Napa, California, and New York City, produces and markets
 the wines of Beaulieu Vineyard, Sterling Vineyards, Sterling Vintner's
 Collection, Blossom Hill and The Monterey Vineyard.  The company is the
 exclusive US importer of Barton & Guestier wines and is the largest importer
 of classified Bordeaux in the US.  The selection is completed by F.E. Trimbach
 wines from Alsace, a collection of Burgundy estate-bottled wines and several
 other European wines.  Dedicated craftsmanship is the guiding principal for
 all our wineries which lies at the center of our commitment to producing and
 selling wines of exceptional quality.
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SOURCE Beaulieu Vineyard