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Sodaro Estate Winery Announces the Appointment of Denis Malbec and Team as Winemaker


Date: 04/12/13

Sodaro Estate Winery announced the appointment of the winemaking team, Malbec & Malbec. According to general manager, Andrew McUsic, the Malbec Team took control of the winemaking operations, in continuation of the Sodaro Estate Winery wine program originated in 2001 by Dawnine and Bill Dyer. Malbec & Malbec, a husband and wife team, come to Sodaro Estate Winery with great international acclaim.

Denis Malbec
Denis Malbec was literally born into wine at the historic first-growth Chateau Latour, Pauillac, France, where his father, Jean-Noël, also grew up and worked for 47 years, more than 25 as cellarmaster.

Growing up in the Bordeaux winegrowing region, where vineyard and winery are at the center of life, provided Denis the opportunity to acquire skills he would later hone to perfection. Denis began his practical winemaking instruction as a cellar worker at Chateau Latour, and continued to learn vineyard and winery management under the tutelage of his father. Thereafter, he studied viticulture and enology formally in Bordeaux and Reims, Champagne, and completed his studies with a five-year "Tour de France" of internships at prestigious chateaux including Chateau Haut-Brion and Chateau Lagrange. In 1993, he returned to Chateau Latour, and in 1994, following in the footsteps of his father, Denis became cellarmaster and enologist, making the stellar Latour for the 1994-1999 vintages.

While Denis’ father offered him hands-on experience, and university offered him his formal education, it was Denis’ grandfather, Camille Malbec, a vineyard worker from the 1930’s through the 1970s, who Denis attributes as powerfully influential in his ultimate connection to the earth’s great bounty and his profound appreciation of nature.

May-Britt Malbec
May-Britt, born in Sweden, began her career in wine as sommelier working in many of Stockholm’s top restaurants. She opened her own restaurant, "Le Bateau," on the Royal Star, a yacht built in 1964 for King Frederic of Denmark. In 1992, she won the Prince Henri-Melchior de Polignac award, for "Best Sommelier in the Nordic Countries," with Master of Wine, Serena Sutcliffe, as foreman of the jury. This distinction enabled May-Britt to become part of important wine juries, such as Le Mondial for "Best Sommelier in the World," as well as the Trophée Ruinart for "Best European Sommelier."

In 1995, May-Britt moved to France to oversee public relations at Château Latour, and there she met Denis Malbec, cellarmaster and enologist.

In 2000, May-Britt and Denis parted ways with Latour and launched their own wine consulting business which allowed the team to express their talent and wine philosophy in a more personal and diverse manner. Following immediate success with several Bordeaux properties, the couple set their sights on the New World, in particular California, and the exceptional Bordeaux-varietals grown in the Napa and Sonoma appellations.

Since then, Denis and May-Britt’s talents have brought enormous success to client wineries in both Northern California and Bordeaux. "This new association is a natural," says Don Sodaro, owner, Sodaro Estate Winery. "From the very beginning, we planned and constructed our Sodaro Estate winery and vineyards in the classic Bordeaux style, planting all five Bordeaux varietals and making wines only from our estate grown fruit. That said, the Malbec team and their Bordeaux background and influence is the ideal match for Sodaro," continues Don. "We look forward to working with the Malbec team, taking our future vintages to the next level and making history as a top tier wine producer."

Sodaro Estate Winery

Driven by their passion and inspired by the great wines of Bordeaux and Napa Valley, Don and Deedee Sodaro, searched widely for the perfect location to construct a vineyard and winery, from which to create a wine of extraordinary merit. In 1998, they found the ideal location, and a world class vineyard was planted. Caves were built into the hillside to accommodate winemaking and barrel aging, with an inviting, well appointed tasting room to accommodate guests. Every estate grown vintage, from the first vintage forth, is a story of soil, climate, rain and sunshine, artistry, talent and determination to produce the best wine possible. Sodaro Estate Winery’s continuing goal is to create a wine that goes beyond the bounds of its making to become an experience of perfect harmony.

Job Function: Winemaking

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