New World Winemakers Luncheon

Napa, Australia and New Zealand. What do they have in common?  All three are beautiful destination spots; all three are in the “new world”; all three are wine producing regions; and recently three producers from the three regions came together for a wine lunch.

Ludovic Dervin, Chief Winemaker from Mumm Napa, Bernard Hickin, Chief Winemaker from Jacob’s Creek and Jim Robertson, Global Brand Ambassador from Brancott Estate shared their thoughts about making wine in their respective regions.

A native of Champagne, France, Ludovic Dervin has a natural understanding of méthode champenoise. Previously he worked harvests in France at Charles Heidseick and G.H. Mumm, in California at Piper Sonoma, Hartford Court and Gary Farrell, as well as in South Africa and Greece. His passion for making sparkling wine from the Napa Valley is evident but he is not trying to make Champagne.  His sparkling wines are fruit forward, elegant and balanced and reflect a sense of place

Bernard Hickin has been with Jacob’s Creek winery since the brand started in 1976. Named after the small creek that runs through the Barossa Valley, the winery originally begin in the 1800s.  With a climate similar to Bordeaux, Jacob’s Creek produces elegant affordable wines. Bernard, who studied winemaking, has spent more than three decades helping to grow the winery into what it is today while influencing many younger winemakers.


An industry veteran, Jim Robertson has been a key player in the growth of New Zealand’s wine exports for more than two decades. He oversees Brancott Estate, the first winery to plant Sauvignon Blanc in Marlborough in 1973. Brancott introduced the world to Sauvignon Blanc in 1979 and today is one of the leading producers.


It is rare treat to get representatives from different countries to sit down together and share their wines and stories over lunch. No matter how different the regions, varietals or wines, their common passion and drive to produce the best wines for their region is what stands out above all.