The Winemaker

Luc Desbonnets began his winemaking career in 1989 in the vineyards of Chinon, France. He spent 7 years working and studying throughout Burgundy, Bordeaux, the Rhone Valley and several other less known French wine appellations before graduating with a superior technician diploma from a Bordeaux Agricultural School in the Medoc appellation in 1993. He went on to work as a flying winemaker in France, Hungary, Moldova, Australia and New Zealand, returning permanently to New Zealand for the 1998 vintage.

After two years winemaking in the Wairarapa Valley, Luc moved to Waiheke Island in 2000 where he was instrumental in designing and building over 100 acres of small parcel, high density, steep sloping vineyards for private land owners and winemakers. His consultation for several budding iconic brands has placed them amongst New Zealand’s most revered still table wines.

In 2005 Luc acquired “the perfect red wine site…” now known as Frenchmans Hill Estate. In 2006 he planted his vineyard upon it’s steep northern, sheltered slopes, “The 8 Vineyard”, a careful selection of 8 red grape varieties with the vision of two wines, a Syrah and a unique blended red.