David Hohnen, Margaret River winemaker who would have made a fine male model in his time but whose chief claim to fame is having dreamt up in 1985 Cloudy Bay, New Zealand's most sought-after wine, is to step down from the day-to-day running of Cloudy Bay and its Western Australian parent Cape Mentelle, founded by Hohnen as long ago as 1970.
The two wineries were subsequently sold to Veuve Clicquot, before becoming part of the vast LVMH empire, but run by Hohnen. Recently Mountadam in South Australia's Eden Valley was added to this division, run separately from LVMH's sparkling wine business Domaine Chandon in the Yarra Valley.
From now on Dr Tony Jordan (see my Oz Shiraz tasting notes to be published soon in purple pages) will oversee all of these operations while David Hohnen concentrates on his own beautifully secluded property south of Margaret River, complete with stables for his wife Sandy, workshop for his hobby (bullet-making – I'm sure that's not the right term) and, of course, the odd vineyard.
The winemaking dynasty will continue with the next generation, Freya Hohnen in particular. Her brother Giles is a chef with experience in Sydney (Longrain) and Japan under his belt.
I should imagine that Dr Jordan will be much happier in the boardrooms of Epernay and Paris than his predecessor who is very definitely a farmer au fond.