Then, for those who enjoy wine legends and old Cali, we have our Beaulieu Vineyard Georges de Latour Private Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon dinner happening on 12th August. This dinner offers the opportunity to learn about one of the most historical vineyards and most impactful winemakers in the U.S. – Beaulieu Vineyard and André Tchelistcheff. He would go on to transform not only Beaulieu Vineyard but countless other wineries and wines to follow. Beaulieu Vineyard was founded in 1904.
Georges de Latour, the founder of Beaulieu Vineyard (which translates to ‘beautiful place’), brought André Tchelistcheff with him to the Napa Valley from Paris in 1938. Initially, when Georges de Latour started making wines and shipping them out in barrels, he had problems with spoilage. Thus, he needed to find a winemaker with a background in microbiology to help him fix this problem. André Tchelistcheff was indeed able to help improve the winemaking practices as well as the conditions of the vineyards at BV. But, sadly, Georges de Latour passed away in 1940, two years after Tchelistcheff arrived in the Napa Valley. Georges de Latour considered the 1936 Cabernet Sauvignon to be the best wine he ever made, so in honour of him Tchelistcheff labelled the wine ‘Georges de Latour Private Reserve’. The wine received international fame and would become one of the most famous wines in Napa’s history; it cost USD 1.50 per bottle at the time. Kelli White, Napa Valley Then & Now, p. 152. With this special wine, the Georges de Latour Private Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon label began.
During this dinner we will taste wines from different winemakers in BV’s history beginning with the vintages from Tchelistcheff. In 1968, he was joined by Dick Peterson (father of famous winemaker Heidi Barrett-Peterson). But the new ownership of Heublein was difficult for both Tchelistcheff and Peterson, so they both retired in 1973. Later on, Tchelistcheff ended up returning to BV as a consultant in the early 1990s until his passing in 1994. After Tchelistcheff and Peterson left, their cellar master Theo Rosenbrand took over until 1978. When he left in 1978, Tom Selfridge took over. Then, in 1982 Joel Aiken joined as assistant winemaker, and he took over from Selfridge in 1985 and continued on as winemaker through 2008. Napa Valley Then & Now, p. 155. We will taste the wines made by each of these winemakers through BV’s history and see how this legendary wine developed over the years. On 12th August, let’s take a step back in time for a bit and explore the early winemaking history of the U.S.
Wines to be served:
Beaulieu Vineyard Georges de Latour Private Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon vintages
1964, 1968, 1973, 1974, 1976, 1977, 1978, 1979, 1983, 1984, 1985, and 1987