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An evening with Aubert de Villaine, Domaine de la Romanee-Conti - 28 January

We are honoured to be hosting Climats of Burgundy delegation of Aubert de Villaine, Pablo Chevrot and Krystel Lepresle for a week of cultural exchange and celebration.

The three delegates are in New Zealand to garner support from the NZ Government for Burgundy’s UNESCO World Heritage bid and to join us as part of the 10th Central Otago Pinot Noir Celebration. Perhaps most importantly though, they are here to continue to develop and strengthen our two regions’ strong fraternal relationship.

This is a once in a lifetime opportunity to listen to and share our craft with one of the world’s most respected winegrowers.

Date/Time: Tuesday 28 January, 7pm

Venue: Rippon Hall at Rippon Vineyard, Wanaka

Cost: $50 + GST COWA members / $75 + GST NZW members (includes a glass of wine on arrival & light nibbles)

Proceeds from the evening will go towards the costs of internal flights and hosting the delegates while they are here.

Wine – we’d be grateful if you might bring along a special bottle from your cellar to share with our guests.

Registrations to Natalie Wilson, e: or t: 03 445 4499 no later than Friday 24 January.

Discussion Topics:

•    Burgundy’s Cultural Heritage, the notion of “climat” and its relevance to Central Otago

•    Burgundy’s UNESCO bid and what they are trying to achieve as a region

•    Outstanding Universal Value and Central Otago’s role in the UNESCO candidacy

•    A grower’s perspective from within less recognised appellations

•    What Burgundian wine growers have gained from their association with Central Otago


Aubert de Villaine

Vigneron, Domaine de la Romanée-Conti

Président de l'Association pour l'inscription des Climats du Vignoble de Bourgogne au Patrimoine Mondial del'UNESCO.

Born in 1939 as heir to one of the most enviable wine legacies of all time, yet raised not necessarily toward the life of a winegrower, Aubert was initially more interested in literature and law than wine. After spending time in the US working for an importer of Burgundian wines and in wine journalism, he returned home in the mid-sixties to devote himself to winegrowing. He carried out an apprenticeship at the Domaine whilst studying winemaking at the University of Dijon.

In 1973, Aubert and his wife Pamela sought less pedigreed pastures to call home. They settled in the village of Bouzeron, a small, off-the-beaten-path village in the Côte Chalonnaise and were instrumental gaining AOC recognition for the town’s local variety Aligoté – the sole appellation of this variety in the world.

Aubert assumed his role as co-director of DRC in 1974, yet, however high profile his day job, Aubert is first and foremost a vigneron. He is devoted to the winegrower's craft and his community. He has spent a life pruning vines, racking barrels and looking after his vineyards and the vineyard team, whilst being involved in many diverse winegrower committees and acting as mayor of his town for 10 years. In 2006 he put aside all other responsibilities outside of the Domaine to initiate and head Burgundy’s bid to see the vineyard sites of the Cote d’Or registered as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

In 2010, Aubert was awarded Decanter Magazine’s prestigious “Man of the Year” Award. Humble, yet not self-effacing, he gladly fulfils his role as the public face of the Domaine de la Romanée-Conti, and more recently, that of Burgundy’s UNESCO candidacy.

Krystel Lepresle

Directrice de l'Association pour l'inscription des Climats du Vignoble de Bourgogne au Patrimoine Mondial del'UNESCO.

Growing up in rural eastern Burgundy, in La Nièvre, Krystel spent her childhood travelling (due to her father’s occupation) which opened her mind to the world and its diversity. Krystel studied at the University of Paris, where she gained a degree in international law before working in the Cultural Heritage division of UNESCO. In February 2008 she became engaged as director of the Burgundy Climats group. Her role has been to establish the strategic plan of the candidacy, coordinate all the local partners involved, along with advocacy and lobbying (local, national and international level). Along the way she has been happy to have had contact with the many stakeholders, academics and winegrowers that have contributed to the dossier.

Pablo Chevrot

Vigneron, Domaine Chevrot et fils

Pablo was born in 1976 and grew up surrounded by the hillside slopes of Maranges, the Cote de Beaune’s most southern appellation. He went to school in Chalon-sur-Saone and later studied winemaking in Dijon and Bordeaux. Following internships in six different estates in France and USA, he returned home to take over the production reigns from his father in 2002. Along with his brother Vincent, he is the third generation on the family domaine, which consists of 15 different appellations across 18 hectares of vines.

The domaine itself is a collection of buildings which centre around the family home: this edifice holds the winery in its walls, the staff accommodation in its attic and its wine in the 1798 built cellars beneath. Four generations of family live at the domaine. This is perhaps what one imagines when thinking of classic Burgundy – an image that has transcended the ages, complete with hearty food and festive, harvest-time singing. Yet look again and one finds something altogether more current. Two brothers, both having travelled extensively, passionate about Aikido and blind tasting with a modern, organic approach to viticulture and winemaking.

Whilst Maranges is perhaps one of the Cote de Beaune lesser known appellations, the conviction and integrity which Pablo and his family bring to their work, has brought a renewed understanding of the quality possible from these lands. It is for this reason that he represents well the next generation of Burgundian Winegrowers.

Pablo is married to Japanese born Kaori. Together they have a son, Angelo.


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