take our surveysite indexevent calendar do business with us
 
POTATO CAKE AND CURED SALMON SPARKLERS MADE SIMPLE ARNAUD WEYRICH SPARKLING WINE PICKS
>> food + wine
WINECOUNTRY.COM - HOME | MAGAZINE TABLE OF CONTENTS
 
Enjoy Wine Country
Living in Wine Country
ROEDERER ESTATE WINEMAKER ARNAUD WEYRICH


FOOD + WINE : ARTICLES
Potato Cake with Cured Salmon | Sparklers Made Simple | Wine Picks: Sparkiling Wines
In the Barrel: Winemaker, Arnaud Weyrich | Rock Shrimp Skewers | Fresh Beet Salad
Oysters Mustar'Feller© | Oyster Chowder | Roasted Pork Loin & Rosemary Potatoes


In the Barrel - From Intern to Top Dog
Roederer Estate Winemaker Arnaud Weyrich Leaps Into the Spotlight

When he first came to California in 1993, Arnaud Weyrich was just one of the scores of recent graduates turned out each year by wine schools around the world. But he wasted no time in going his own way. Instead of taking a job in his native France, Weyrich signed on as an intern at Roederer Estate in Mendocino County’s Anderson Valley.

It must have seemed an odd choice to some, considering the valley’s rural, remote location and Roederer’s dedication to a wine most Americans drink only at weddings. And in fact, Weyrich was soon back in France. But he never forgot California. By 2000 he was working for Louis Roederer (Roederer Estate’s parent company in Champagne). When Michel Salgues, the founding winemaker at Roederer Estate, retired three years later, Weyrich was ready to leap the Atlantic again and succeed his former boss.

“Being number one is the hardest position,” he notes, “because the only direction you can go is down.” He smiles as he says it, but the point is clear. Under Salgues, Roederer Estate’s top-tier bottling, called “L’Hermitage,” was widely considered America’s finest sparkling wine. Weyrich, 35, must maintain his winery’s position at the peak — while also replanting nearly two-thirds of the estate’s vineyards and managing the recent surprise acquisition of Anderson Valley’s other full-time sparkling winery, Scharffenberger (formerly Pacific Echo).

It’s a tall order, but the slender, precise Weyrich appears unperturbed. He sees the 14-year replanting project, forced by phylloxera, as a fundamental opportunity to improve the raw ingredients for his winemaking team. “Anderson Valley is fairly new as a wine region, especially compared to France,” he points out. “We have much more data now about our site than when it was first planted and we are using that information in a very systematic way.”

As to the acquisition, announced shortly before the 2004 harvest, he is equally optimistic. “We were competitors in the marketplace, but we have always been friends and neighbors here in the valley,” he says of Scharffenberger. “We are an estate winery, and the acquisition brings us the new vineyards we need to expand our production without compromising our quality.”
Weyrich is also making his mark in the winery — not by changing wine styles but by adjusting the winemaking to achieve his company’s lofty goals. “In France, Champagne is a wine that is made through the teamwork of many people over many years,” he explains. “So I am not like the American winemakers who come into a new job and set the style they want. The style is already established here. My job is to perfect the details.”

One example is his use of malolactic fermentation with a small percentage of his grapes. This natural process, which softens a wine’s acidity, can be allowed or arrested depending on the character of the vintage and what the winemaker intends in the finished wine. “Michel did not use malolactic fermentation at all, which is the Roederer tradition,” Weyrich explains. “But in some years, we need to smooth out the edges of the wine. So I use just a little.”

He permits himself another smile. “Tradition is important at Roederer,” he says, “but the strongest tradition is to make the best wine.”


NOV/DEC 2004
TABLE OF CONTENTS

FEATURE ARTICLES
Celbrating Tradition
Wine Country Casual
Resolution Writing
ON THE RADAR
Russian River Food & Wine Festival
Long Meadow Ranch Opens
New Tasting Rooms
to Visit

SOCIAL TOAST
Staglin Music Festival
Sonoma County Havest Fair
Hands Across the Valley
BITS & BITES
Emeril in Hopland
Holiday Cheer
Not So Wild Mushrooms
FOOD & WINE
Potato Cake with Cured Salmon
Sparklers Made Simple
Winemaker: Anaud Weyrich


Visitor Favorites:
In Paso Robles
Midway between Los Angeles and San Francisco, you will find the "jewel of the Central Coast," Paso Robles. Wine tasting and exploring here is very down to earth, yet the wines present a sophisticated and evolving style. EOS ESTATE WINERY is recognized for being an award-winning producer of varietal wines, and a destination spot for Central Coast travelers.

Find Out More>>

Join the Club - Locals Tasting Room
 

home : lodging : wineries : things to do : event planning : real estate : spas : dining
event calendar : newsletter : discounts/specials : message boards : search : site index

© 1994 - Freerun Technologies Inc. All rights reserved. View our PRIVACY POLICY.
Sister sites: Napavalley.comSonoma.comYountville.org