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The French Connection

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The Paris family and our team were thrilled to recently welcome distinguished guests to Monte Christo Winery,  the French Ambassador to New Zealand,  Her Excellency Mme Laurence Beau, and Honorary Consul from Queenstown, Mme Hélène Taylor.

During their visit, we shared the story of Monte Christo’s rich French heritage and the remarkable legacy of J.D. Féraud, a fellow Frenchman, who pioneered winemaking in Central Otago starting in 1864.

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Mme Taylor, HE Mme Beau and Proprietor Stanley Paris
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Hosted by Kiki, our Senior Cellar Door Manager, we enjoyed a leisurely walking tour of the property, showcasing the renaissance of Féraud’s original stone winery building and highlighting the significance of the Trollinger grapevines planted on site.

Féraud, and neighbouring Frenchman James Bladier, first planted vines here in 1864.  The early plantings included Chasselas, a white grape, and Trollinger, aka Black Hamburg, a red grape.  

Several cuttings of the original Trollinger grapes were kept and propagated. Cuttings of those vines are found today at our Davishon vineyard in Alexandra and here at the Féraud vineyard and along our Cellar Door wall.  

 

 Next to the grapevine at the cellar door, there is another tangible symbol of his legacy — a bronze plaque that was presented by the Central Otago Winegrowers Association in 1995, alongside the French Honorary Consular General at the time, to commemorate Féraud’s invaluable contribution to our region’s winemaking heritage.

 

Pictured here is our Proprietor, Stanley Paris, standing with Mme Ambassador Laurence Beau next to the plaque adorning the cellar door wall. 

It’s a moment filled with pride and historical significance for all of us at Monte Christo Winery.

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We concluded the visit with a delightful wine tasting of our full portfolio , reminiscing about our shared French connection and our dedication to upholding Féraud’s timeless legacy. Truly a special day to remember!

Merci beaucoup de votre visite! 🇫🇷

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