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Mar 15, 2013,
Rack & Riddle Custom Wine Services
Renowned winemaker Raphael Brisbois is the newly-hired director of winemaking at Rack & Riddle Custom Wine Services, where he specializes in m├ęthode champenois, a labor-intensive approach involving fermentation in the bottle.


Press Release Description

Renowned Winemaker Raphael Brisbois to Lead Team at Rack & Riddle Custom Wine Services

HOPLAND, Calif., March 15, 2013 – Rack & Riddle, an award-winning winery and custom crush facility, has hired renowned winemaker Raphael Brisbois as director of winemaking to lead the production of client and branded wines at Rack & Riddle.

“He brings the elements of classic, old-world winemaking, craftsmanship and expertise – applied to new-world winemaking,” said Bruce Lundquist, a founding member of Rack & Riddle. “He takes great pride in what he does – that’s the kind of person we want as a colleague.”

A native of France, Brisbois brings 35 years of sparkling and still winemaking experience to Rack & Riddle, where he will also oversee all fruit sourcing activities.

“It’s an adventure and a challenge to be part of a big operation like this,” said Brisbois, who was the first client winemaker of the seven-year-old Rack & Riddle facility, founded and led by wine industry veterans Rebecca Faust and Bruce Lundquist. Brisbois has known the pair for 16 years.

Rack & Riddle processes more than 6,000 tons of grapes annually for 150 clients and has grown 30 percent year over year in the past two years.

Brisbois holds a master’s degree in viticulture and enology from École Nationale Supérieure d'Agronomie in Montpellier, France. He specializes in sparkling wines, and has led both sparkling and still winemaking operations around the world on four continents, from Champagne Piper in Reims, France, to consulting at wineries in Chile, Nova Scotia and beyond. 

Prior to settling in California in 1987 to work for Iron Horse Vineyards and Rémy Cointreau, Brisbois spearheaded the first sparkling wine operation in India to be made by méthode champenois, a labor-intensive approach involving fermentation in the bottle.

Rack & Riddle’s sparkling wines are produced using this traditional French method, long considered the most desirable technique for achieving optimum effervescence and complexity in sparkling wines.

“In a sparkling wine you’re looking for a style, whereas with table wine you can go left or right and people pardon you, but sparkling – you try to keep a style,” said Brisbois.

Only 10.6 percent of wineries in the United States produce sparkling wine, according to the Wines & Vines annual 2013 directory.

“There are not more than about a dozen experts in sparkling wine in California,” said Lundquist. “People who are long in the industry come to Raphael to consult with him.  He has great respect there in the industry – we’re lucky to have the association.”


From a 120,000-square-foot facility in Hopland, Calif., Rack & Riddle Custom Wine Services is proudly committed to providing a pristine facility where winemakers craft both still and sparkling wines. Rack & Riddle offers complete grape to bottle or base to bottle wine production services, and houses more than 1.5 million gallons of stainless steel tank storage and fermentation vessels ranging from 500 to 100,000 gallons. An exceptional winemaking team produces more than 500,000 cases of still and sparkling wine each year. Rack & Riddle also offers a shiners program for those looking to add sparkling wine to their portfolio. Rack & Riddle is California Certified Organic and Demeter Biodynamic Certified. For more information, please visit

Contact Information
Name: Elizabeth Nixon     Email:
Phone: 707-744-8100      Fax: 707-744-8200


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