Being a six-generation grapegrower and winemaker, for me, wine represents a family tradition” Pierre Birebent
About Pierre Birebent
Pierre Birebent is a sixth-generation French winemaker, and relished his dual roles at Signorello Estate as winemaker and vineyard manager, an arrangement that allowed him to guarantee the wine’s quality and character.
Growing up in the highlands of Corsica, France, Pierre spent his summer vacations working in the fields of his family’s vineyard. In 1985, after receiving his viticulture and enology degree in Macon, Burgundy, he traveled to Napa for harvest – and never left. He managed various vineyards over the next decade until, one day in 1997, he was alerted to an opening at Signorello Estate. Pierre met with Ray Signorello Sr. and was hired the following day.
As I say sometimes, grape growing is the first step to winemaking, and it is up to the winemaker to develop and express the characteristics of the fruit of a special parcel of land. Being a six-generation grape grower and winemaker, wine represents for me a family tradition.
It represents one year of labor in the vineyard, dealing with mother nature, attending and caring for those vines. It is a great pleasure to receive those grapes on the crush pad, on an early September morning. The next reward is to crush those grapes, ferment and age the wine until the bottling day. Most of all it tastes so good.
My last tasting emotion was 2 years ago, when I was visiting my family in the southwest of France. My father in law opened his last bottle of Algerian wine that he made in the province of Oranie in 1960. This wine was made mostly from Carignan, and was not a fruit bomb, but was still alive with no flaws besides a light oxidation. It was emotional for me to taste a wine my age having been grown and produced in the same country where I was born.
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