The legendary oenologist André Tchelistcheff (1901-1994) was born in Moscow. After a long war-related injury or illness, he only successfully completed his studies in agriculture here in Brno (Czechoslovakia). In 1937 he began studying viticulture and oenology in Paris and worked on the side of a winery near Versailles. In addition, he was a management assistant in the viticulture department at the Institut National d'Agronomie. Tchelistcheff perfected his knowledge during lectures on microbiology at the institute Pasteur, He also worked for the Champagne House for some time Moët et Chandon,
Tchelistcheff met the Frenchman Georges de Latour, who ran the winery in Napa Valley, California Beaulieu Vineyard business. He hired him as cellar master in 1937, and he worked there for 35 years. For some time Miljenko was "Mike" Grgich (born 1923) and Joe Heitz (1919-2000) worked in the winery as his assistants. Tchelistcheff pioneered the modern cellar economy in California. He introduced a number of new winemaking techniques such as malolactic fermentation, temperature controlled fermentation and other cellar engineering measures, dealt with the prevention of frost damage (by wind machines) and thus enormously influenced the rapid rise of Californian viticulture.
In addition to his main job at Beaulieu, he ran a small laboratory in St. Helena and was for many wineries in the Napa Valley and Sonoma, as well as in Europe after leaving Beaulieu in 1973 consultant active. Wineries he advised were, for example, that of the Californian wine pioneer Agoston Haraszthy (1812-1869) 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 Italian Tuscany.
André Tchelistcheff received numerous honors, for example he became an honorary member of the American Society of Enologists and was appointed Chevalier by the French government in 1954 and then in 1979 as 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 role in the Mexican wine region Baja California (Lower California), where he introduced European grape varieties and new cellar techniques.