Cape Mentelle winemaker Rob Mann has left Australia to become director at Newton Vineyard in the Napa Valley as owner LVMH seeks to increase quality at the Californian estate.
The go comes only a few months after Mann disgruntled some Margaret River winemakers by threatening legal action over the usage of the Wallcliffe name on their marks. But, Mann said his time spent at Newton in 2007 as senior winemaker helped cement his choice to leave Australia.‘My role is to elevate Newton to the top handful of Napa producers and be recognised internationally for the quality of its Cabernet and Chardonnay,’ he told Decanter.com. ‘Recognised as an American pioneer of unfiltered wines, Newton Vineyard’s geology is very recent with young soils and a high percentage of mountain-grown fruit on steep slopes which brings with it many challenges that Margaret River, being relatively flat and geologically ancient, does not have to deal with.'Margaret River sources claimed that Mann has
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