Sixty years ago, Robert-Jean de Vogüé and an assortment of his closest friends set out to redefine luxury sparkling wine. They decided the only way to bring it into the modern world was to take it far, far from home. That journey of rediscovery began in Argentina and eventually took them to California, Brazil, China, India and, of course, all the way down here to little old Australia. When we say the sun never sets on Chandon, we mean it quite literally.
At Chandon, we’ve always taken risks because we’ve always believed it was riskier not to take them. John Wright, who ran Chandon California at the time, took a risk on our land of opportunity. He visited Victoria in 1982 and was chuffed with the can-do spirit of the Australians. The boss, Phillipe Coulon, visited soon after and gave his tick of approval. They then tasked the legendary oenologist Tony Jordan with the unenviable task of finding the perfect land to begin a vineyard.
In Australia, if Tony had just thrown a rock in any direction, he probably could have hit a decent piece of land for winemaking. But Tony wanted something truly special: a cool-climate area with enough diversity of terroir to give him all the blending options he could dream of. The Yarra Valley was the natural choice, and Tony loved it so much he couldn’t leave. The first cuvées were released in 1989 under the new Chief Winemaker and head rock thrower, the one and only Tony Jordan.