Darran Stone has been appointed as winemaker and viticulturist at Mont Rochelle Mountain Vineyards in Franschhoek. He is taking over from Dustin Osborne who is moving on to Aaldering Vineyards & Wines in Stellenbosch to take up the reins as its new general manager and winemaker.
Darran, 27, joins Mont Rochelle from Lourensford Winery, where he has served as winemaker for the past 17 months. Raised in KwaZulu-Natal, he completed a Bachelor of Science Degree in Agriculture at the University of Stellenbosch in 2007, specialising in Oenology. He then interned at Overgaauw Wine Estate under the mentorship of Chris Joubert, before his first appointment as winemaker at Cape Station Winery in Stellenbosch. He also gained international experience at Dancing Hares Vineyards, a boutique estate in the Napa Valley.
Currently 60,000 – 70,000 bottles are produced annually at Mont Rochelle from 100 tons of grapes. Labels include Sauvignon Blanc, Unwooded Chardonnay, Barrel Fermented Chardonnay, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Shiraz and Artemis (red blend) as well as the flagship Miko Cabernet Sauvignon and Miko Chardonnay Sur Lie.
Mont Rochelle’s wines are sold in the UK, US, Ireland, Belgium, Russia, Switzerland, Denmark, Sweden, Germany, Hong Kong and Japan, as well as specialist wine shops and restaurants in South Africa. On the farm the cellardoor experience encompasses wine tastings and cellar tours. Mont Rochelle wines are made to match the cuisine produced at the hotel and two restaurants on the farm: Mange Tout for fine dining, and the more informal Country Kitchen.