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“On one particular occasion, André [Tchelistcheff] and I were visiting Sancerre…”

On one particular occasion, André [Tchelistcheff] and I were visiting Sancerre [in France’s Loire Valley], specifically Didier Dagueneau.  But before we arrived at the winery, André told us to stop by the road.  He got out and walked over to the vineyard, bent down, grabbed a handful of dirt in his hands, rubbed it and then told me to do the same.  Then he said, ‘Smell it because that is what you will smell in the wine.’  And he was right.  When we tasted Didier’s ‘Silex,’ I was overwhelmed by the aroma and unique mineral character in the wine.

—Rob Davis, winemaker at Jordan Winery in Alexander Valley, California, talking about his mentor, the late André Tchelistcheff, who is considered the father of California winemaking

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