Winemaker, Morlet Family Vineyards
Wine has always been a way of life for Luc Morlet. Born in Epernay, France to a fifth-generation winegrower family, Luc grew up working on his family's Pinot Noir and Chardonnay domaine, Pierre Morlet & Fils, in Avenay-Val-d'Or, Champagne. As a child, he enjoyed learning about the practical and technical aspects of vineyard farming and winemaking.
Country born: France
Education: A Masters graduate of OEnology from Universite des Sciences de Reims, France, Luc also holds a Viticulture degree from Ecole Viticole de Champagne, as well as an MBA in Wine Business from Ecole Superieure de Commerce in Dijon, Burgundy. His professional viticultural and winemaking experience began in 1988 with a variety of internships in Burgundy, Bordeaux, Champagne and the Southwest of France. These included Maison Chanson Pere et Fils in Beaune and the Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique in Bordeaux. Luc's knowledge was furthered by technical tours of the European wine regions of Italy, Spain, Germany and the French areas of Alsace, Cognac, Rhone and Loire Valley.
Upon completion of graduate school, Luc became the Assistant Winemaker for the Val d'Or Champagne Cellars. In 1993, he replaced the Winemaker at a French subsidiary in St Helena, allowing him to discover Napa Valley and Sonoma County's unique viticultural conditions. The following year, Luc became the winemaker at Chateau Dauzac, a classified Margaux growth, and perfected his skills making Bordeaux style wines, under the guidance of consultant Jacques Boissenot.
Years in the wine industry: 20-30 years
Honors / Awards:
In the spring of 2001, Luc became the winemaker for Peter Michael Winery. His expertise in the Bordeaux and Burgundy styles of viticulture and winemaking lent itself well to the winery's mission of handcrafting classical wines. Continuing Helen Turley's legacy, Luc's technical leadership helped Peter Michael Winery improve its already acclaimed wines during the 2001 through 2005 vintages. (In order to ensure the continuity of style, Luc still remains involved with Peter Michael Winery as Consulting Winemaker, advising his brother Nicolas Morlet who succeeded him as Winemaker in January of 2006.) As part of his ongoing effort to achieve the highest quality of wines, Luc designed and developed, in the summer of 2003 and in collaboration with manufacturing company P&L Specialties, a unique premium-sorting device, named LE TRIEUR, currently under US Patent protection.
In 2006, Luc and his wife Jodie began handcrafting vin de terroirs and unique cuvees from the surrounding Napa Valley and Sonoma Coast under the Morlet Family Vineyards label. In 2010, the couple restored a pre-Prohibition winery as a gravity-flow winemaking facility. Located in the beautiful St. Helena appellation, this Cabernet Sauvignon vineyard supplies the premium fruit for their 'Morlet Estate' label. Their 20-acre 'Coeur de Vallee' vineyard is located on the world-renowned Oakville Bench. Meticulously farmed vineyards and low-intervention winemaking techniques produce powerful yet refined wines displaying personality, complexity and graceful aging capability. With over 20 vintages under his belt, and with his own zest for innovation, Luc uses classic Burgundy and Bordeaux methods adapted to California's natural conditions. Unwavering commitment to quality leads to small yields, attentive sorting, and the highest standard when blending. Thus, a very limited amount of each wine is ever produced.