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Denis Dubourdieu (July 1, 1949 – July 26, 2016)[1] was a French winemaker and professor of oenology at the University of Bordeaux. He managed or co-managed several properties in Bordeaux, including Château Reynon, Château Doisy Daëne, Château Cantegril, Château Haura, and Clos Floridène.[3] He also consulted at Château Cheval Blanc.[4]

As part of his academic responsibilities, Dubourdieu was the director of l'Institut des Sciences de la Vigne et du Vin de l'Université de Bordeaux (English: Institute of Vine and Wine Sciences of the University of Bordeaux). The Institute is a multi-disciplinary research center where experts from the University of Bordeaux, l’Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique (English: The National Institute of Agronomic Research) and l’Ecole Nationale des Ingénieurs des travaux agricoles (English: The National School of Engineers of Agricultural Work) work together to assist wine producers with the state of the art in technology, technique and economic modeling.[5]

Dubourdieu specialized in winemaking processes for white wines,[6] and has been called "wine’s most famous scientist".[7] He played a leading role in the improvement of white Bordeaux wines, which as late as the 1960s were sweet and of low quality, to become "serious, potentially profound dry whites".[8] Innovations proposed by Dubourdieu include organic farming, oak barrel fermentation with extended skin contact and improved bottling techniques.[9][10]

Personal life

Denis was married to Florence Dubourdieu, and his sons Jean-Jacques and Fabrice both helped to run the family domaines.[3]

His father and grandfather were winemakers, specializing in white wines.[7] He died on 26 July 2016 in Bordeaux of brain cancer at the age of 67.[2][11][12]

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