The ghost writers of New South Wales wine

Derrez (right) and Maddox were finalists in this year’s Gourmet Traveller Wine Magazine Winemaker of the Year Award. (Photo: Instagram: @gtwinemag)

Orange winemaker Chris Derrez was invited to work as 2018 vintage winemaker at Burgundy’s famous Hospices de Beaune. Derrez is originally from Burgundy, where his family still makes wine, but has worked in Australia since 1994.

The Madrez partners describe themselves as the ‘ghost writers’ for a clutch of producers in Orange, Hilltops and NSW Central Ranges.

In Orange, he and his partner Lucy Maddox, also a winemaker, run Madrez Wine Services, a contract winemaker for several producers, including Colmar Estate, Cooks Lot and Burnbrae. Both have worked many vintages all around the globe.

Derrez and Maddox were finalists in this year’s Gourmet Traveller Wine Magazine Winemaker of the Year Award, where Maddox represented the partnership by herself, as Derrez was then in Burgundy. An update, typically brief and to the point, from Lucy:

“Chris is currently at Bruder Dr Becker in Germany. The vintage at Hospices de Beaune was abbreviated due to the season. Chris has also helped his father with the family’s harvest.”

The Hospices de Beaune is a unique institution in the world of wine. It’s been making wine for more than 500 years and produces 50 wines from the many vineyards and estates that have been bequeathed or gifted to the hospital by grateful patients over the centuries. Every year on the third Sunday in November, a unique auction is held in Beaune where around 700 barrels of the Hospice’s new-vintage wines are offered for sale.

Needless to say, it’s an honour to be invited to help make the wine at Hospices de Beaune with chief winemaker Ludivine Griveau.

The Madrez partners describe themselves as the ‘ghost writers’ for a clutch of producers in Orange, Hilltops and NSW Central Ranges. Ballinaclash, which has had great show success in recent years, and Twisted River (trophy for the best shiraz at the 2017 Boutique Wine Awards) are also their clients.

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