Watch “André: The Voice of Wine” Movie Premiere on June 8, 2019

Carey Sweet

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Many wine experts consider the late André Tchelistcheff (1901–1994) to be the most influential winemaker in America since Prohibition, notable for defining the distinct style of California’s best wines.

And now, you can learn the fascinating story behind the legend, via a new documentary film titled “André: The Voice of Wine.” A special matinee viewing is being held Saturday, June 8, 2019, at the Raven Film Center in Healdsburg, just off the Plaza. It marks the only viewing in Sonoma County, kicking off a tour with stops in New York, Napa and London.

A photo of Robert Mondavi and André Tchelistcheff

Created by Tchelistcheff’s grand-nephew Mark Tchelistcheff and narrated by Ralph Fiennes, the story charts accomplishments such as the winemaker’s influence on the now-famous 1976 Judgment of Paris Tasting when California wines beat out French wines for top title.

The Russian born wine professional worked with numerous top Sonoma County winemakers, including Rev. John Staten of Field Stone Winery, Rick Sayre of Rodney Strong Wine Estates, and Rob Davis of Jordan Vineyard & Winery, all in Healdsburg. He also consulted with significant wineries including Buena Vista of Sonoma, Simi of Healdsburg and Sebastiani of Sonoma.  

Jordan Winery is hosting the June 8 film screening, in celebration of Tchelistcheff’s contributions toward crafting their signature, Bordeaux style Cabernet Sauvignon in the 1970s. In fact, Tchelistcheff spent nearly 20 years mentoring Davis, who is also featured in the film.

Photo of André Tchelistcheff.

The event begins at 2 p.m. with a Champagne reception, and samplings of Jordan’s newly released wines paired with artisan cheeses and charcuterie by Healdsburg’s Journeyman Meat Co. That’s followed by a private screening of the 90-minute film, and then a Q&A with Mark Tchelistcheff and Davis.

The film explores the many technologies Tchelistcheff developed that are now routine in wineries around the world, such as cold fermentation, stainless steel tanks and controlled malolactic fermentation. It also details the many tragedies of his young life, suffering through the Russian Revolution and nearly dying on a battlefield.

Details: Raven Film Center, 415 Center Street, Healdsburg. To purchase tickets ($75), contact Maribel Soto at 800-654-1213 or [email protected]