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Tchelistcheff André

Tchelistcheff André The legendary oenologist André Tchelistcheff (1901-1994) was born in Moscow. He was able to successfully complete his studies in agriculture after a prolonged war-related injury or illness in Brno (Czechoslovakia). In 1937 he began to study viticulture and enology in Paris and worked on a wine estate near Versailles. In addition, he was Assistant to the Department of Viticulture at the Institut National d'Agronomie. Tchelistcheff completed his knowledge in lectures on microbiology at the institute Pasteur, For some time he also worked for the champagne house Moët et Chandon,

Tchelistcheff got to know the French Georges de Latour, who in the Napa Valley, California, the winery Beaulieu Vineyard business. He hired him as cellar master in 1937, where he worked for 35 years. For some time Miljenko "Mike" Grgich (born 1923) and Joe Heitz (1919-2000) worked in the winery as his assistants. Tchelistcheff did pioneering work in California's modern cellar industry. He introduced a number of new winemaking techniques such as malolactic fermentation, temperature controlled fermentation and other cellaring measures, dealt with the prevention of frost damage (by wind machines) and thus influenced enormously the rapid rise of Californian viticulture.

In addition to his main job at Beaulieu, he ran his own small laboratory in St. Helena and was for many wineries in Napa Valley and Sonoma, and after his departure at Beaulieu in 1973, later in Europe than consultant active. Wineries advised by him were, for example, that of the Californian viticulture pioneer Agoston Haraszthy (1812-1869) founded historic winery Buena Vista Winery, the then two young entrepreneurs Robert Mondavi and Joe Heitz, such as Château Ste Michelle in the US state of Washington and in Europe Ornellaia in the Italian Tuscany.

André Tchelistcheff received numerous honors, for example, he was an honorary member of the American Society of Enologists and was appointed by the French government in 1954 to Chevalier and then in 1979 to the Officier de l'Ordre du Mérite Agricole. His knowledge and proposed rules in winemaking are still valid today, he was an outstanding personality in viticulture. His son Dimitri Tchelistcheff worked in a similar capacity in the Mexican wine-growing region of Baja California (sub-California), where he introduced European grape varieties and new cellar techniques.

Picture: By YuriVict - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0 , Link
edited by Norbert Tischelmayer 8/2018

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