WillaKenzie Estate's winemaker Thibaud Mandet was born in Auvergne, France, a land of mostly extinct volcanoes, great cheeses, and world-famous rubber treads (Michelin tires) but not much local wine! He earned a degree in chemistry, then moved on to study the more interesting field of wine chemistry in Bordeaux where he completed his graduate diploma from the Faculté d’Oenologie de Bordeaux. He then moved on for more chemistry and a postgraduate degree in bubbly wine making from Reims in Champagne. So, he learned how to make red wine, sparkling wine, and eat cheese, then traveled to Corsica and Texas to see if he could help make wine to accompany stinky cheese, before landing at WillaKenzie Estate in the Spring of 2000. Thibaud is inspired by Pinot Noir and is a perfectionist about balance, aromas, and mouthfeel in wines.