The educational project “Personalities of the Russian Community Abroad. 1920-1945”

André Tchelistcheff

André Tchelistcheff

André Tchelistcheff

(1901 – 1994)

An enologist, “father of Californian wine production”.

He was born in 1901 into an aristocratic family of Kaluga. Up to 1911 he was raised at home while later he studied at the Kiev Military Academy. He had to interrupt his learning due to the revolution of 1917.

In 1918-1920 Tchelistcheff took part in the Russian Civil War supporting the White movement. He was badly injured in Crimea and left Russia together with the remaining troops of Wrangler that ended up in the Gallipoli camp (Turkey). Then he moved from Turkey to the Kingdom of Serbians, Croatians and Slovenians to join his family (to future Yugoslavia).

There Tchelistcheff studied agriculture at the Czechoslovakia’s Brno University. Since 1930 he continued his learning in France at Institut Pasteur and Institut National Agronomique where he studied oenology and microbiology. After finishing his studying, Tchelistcheff worked in Champagne for world famous Moët & Chandon.

In 1938 Tchelistcheff was invited to the USA to work at Beaulieu Vineyard in California. The company produced wine for communion services and was supported by the San Francisco catholic community. It was the time when Andre moved to the US forever. Within a short period of time of his work on the west coast of the USA Tchelistcheff turned a local common wine into California Cabernet which became known worldwide and which is still one of the most famous wines in the world.

In March 2007 the name of André Tchelistcheff was included in the Vintners Hall of Fame created by the Culinary Institute of America.


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