Philippe Langner, Winemaker
Growing up in Africa, Philippe Langner was always fascinated with plants and how to grow them. His love of agriculture led him to U.C. Davis where he graduated with a Bachelor's degree in Agronomy and a double Masters in Agronomy and Agricultural Economics.
After graduation Philippe returned to his family in Paris. While working in a bank he searched for work in an NGO in third world agricultural development. It was at this time that his sister convinced him to try working at Chateau Clarke, in Bordeaux. Philippe fell in love with a fascinating new world at the confluence of agriculture, science, art and business.
Chateau Clarke, a Rothschild property, belongs to his brother in law. He started at the bottom of the ladder and moved up progressively while participating to all the different aspects of viticulture and winemaking. It also allowed him the unique opportunity to enter the closed world the great Bordeaux Chateaux' and develop benchmarks of excellence. It gave him an understanding of what a great wine is and what it takes to make it. It was also during this period that he had the opportunity of working with two of Bordeaux's most respected winemaker: Jacques Boissenot and Michel Rolland.
After a stint in South Africa for crush in 2000, Philippe wanted to return to California. Thru a chance meeting he met the Sullivan Family in Rutherford in the Napa Valley and was hired after a 15 minute interview. He started working for Sullivan Vineyards for the harvest of 2001. In 2002 he was promoted to viticulturist and winemaker. His tenure at Sullivan Vineyard ended in the Spring of 2010 as he became more involved with his own winemaking projects.
In 2004 Philippe started his Hesperian project with impressive Cabernet Sauvignon fruit from Coombsville and he produced 170 cases. Since 2006 he has been producing about 1000 cases of Cabernet Sauvignon from various vineyards.
In the midst of all this he finds time to consult for two other wineries.
It has been an exciting adventure and a continuing one.