New Winemaker Joins Montesquieu Team
Helene Mingot to Assist Stephane Derenoncourt in Napa Valley
Bringing with her an impressive list of winemaking credentials, Helene Mingot, raised in Frances' famed Loire Valley, has joined the Montesquieu team. Steeped in viticulture, oenology and the wider agro-industrial processes, Ms. Mingot earned a Master of Science degree at the School of Agriculture in Angers, Loire Valley, with a Vine and Wine major. Following these studies, Helene spent a year in Bordeaux working in a lab, testing new strains of yeast for wines and conducting research. She discovered that although she found the scientific aspect "educational," she realized that she preferred the actual winemaking over research. She set her sights on winemaking and became one of only two people selected from the science arena to attend the Agronomy National School of Toulouse, where she received the French National Diploma of Oenology. She then became a cellar master in Bordeaux, making wines such as Sauternes, Sauvignon Blanc, Merlot and Cabernet blends for various Chateaux. This experience prepared her for the next 4 or 5 years that she would spend in Italy. There, Helene worked as a Junior Winegrowing Consultant, and as an "Assagiatore di Olio" (olive oil taster) in Tuscany. She then expanded her knowledge while employed as a winemaker at a Chianti Classico estate. It was while in Italy, that Helene was introduced to Stephane Derenoncourt. She had the pleasure of working with his team at a trade fair in Verona, where she first became acquainted with our wine buyers while they were on a weekend buying trip.
Helene will now be working directly with Stephane Derononcourt in Napa Valley; an opportunity for which she admits she is extremely excited. "I have been familiar with Stephane's work for the last 5-6 years," she declared. Stephane selected her to help with his projects due to her strong contacts with producers as well as her ability to speak Italian, English, conversational Spanish and, of course, fluent French.