Mont Rochelle appoints Darran Stone as winemaker

Date posted:
June 27, 2011

Enthusiastic 27-year old Darran Stone has been appointed as winemaker and viticulturist at Mont Rochelle Mountain Vineyards in Franschhoek. He is taking over from Dustin Osborne who is moving on to Aaldering Vineyards and Wines in Stellenbosch to take up the reigns as its new general manager and winemaker.


Darran Stone boasts an impressive portfolio with experience gained locally and abroad. He joins Mont Rochelle from Lourensford Winery, where he has served as winemaker for the past 17 months.


Raised in Kwazulu-Natal, he completed a Bachelor of Science Degree in Agriculture at the University of Stellenbosch in 2007, specializing in Oenology. He then interned at Overgaauw Wine Estate under the mentorship of Chris Joubert, before his first appointment as winemaker, at Cape Station Winery in Stellenbosch. He also gained much international cellar experience and an in-depth understanding of all viticulture practises at Dancing Hares Vineyards, a boutique wine estate in the Napa Valley (USA). Here he worked under the guidance of Andrew Erickson, widely considered one of the Napa Valley’s finest winemakers.


Determined to realize his ambition of being one of South Africa’s top winemakers, Stone’s passion for wine is set to take winemaking at Mont Rochelle from strength to strength. Currently around 60 000 – 70 000 bottles are produced here annually from 100 tons of grapes, which include sauvignon blanc, unwooded chardonnay, barrel fermented chardonnay, merlot, cabernet sauvignon, shiraz and Artemis (red blend), as well as the flagship MIKO Cabernet Sauvignon and MIKO Chardonnay Sur Lie.


Mont Rochelle wines are sold in the UK, USA, Ireland, Belgium, Russia, Switzerland, Denmark, Sweden, Germany, Hong Kong and Japan, as well as in specialist wine shops and restaurants in South Africa. On the farm the cellar door experience encompasses wine tastings and cellar tours as an integral part of Mont Rochelle wines.


Known as excellent food wines, Mont Rochelle wines are crafted stylistically and structurally to match the world-class cuisine produced at the hotel and two restaurants on the farm: Mange Tout for fine dining, and the more informal Country Kitchen. 



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