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About 2018-09-10T18:14:08+00:00

H I S T O R Y

Thierry Villard was born in France but lived most of his youth in Switzerland and some time in England at college. He left home at 19 years old to discover the world. By the age of 20 he was in Australia and after a year decided to go to South America. He reached Panama by boat where he got off, making his way all the way down to Chile where he met my mother. They got married in Santiago after 7 months, and then the ceremony was repeated in Paris where their adventure would start in 1972.

They bought a Volkswagen Beetle and drove their way through to Kabul in Afghanistan but had to sell the car as the war between Pakistan and India had closed the border. So they continued their journey by public transports through Asia to Singapore where they embarked on a ship to Perth in Australia and from there across the country to Melbourne in Victoria where they met up with my mother’s brother, a qualified oenologist, who had immigrated to Australia the year before, on my father’s recommendation.

Soon in 1973 Thierry started working at Orlando Wines, one of the largest Australian winery, to develop the newly created division of imported wines and spirits in Melbourne. He gained experience in sales in the On trade, Off trade, Major Customers, Wholesalers, then transferred as sales manager to Morris Wines, a boutique winery, subsidiary of the group, before returning to Orlando a year later as sales manager of Victoria.

1980 he was transferred to the head office in Adelaide as product manager in the marketing department, in charge of the imports division, Premium Wines and the boutique winery Morris Wines.

1981 Same functions plus Marketing Manager for Exports. Creation of the Export department and first customers.

1984 Concentrating work on exports and leaving responsibilities for the national market. As Export manager he establishes a network of importers, agents and distributors in Asia, Europe and the USA. Launching in the UK the first media campaign outside of Australia for Jacob’s Creek.

During the 70’s & 80’s, the family went on several trips to Chile for holidays, where Thierry met again with his many acquaintances and friends in the wine industry. As time went on, he felt more and more that he should start his own wine company and that it should be in Chile.

By 1988 he was convinced, that the Country was on a sound economic path and that the Chilean wine industry would become the “new discovery” in European markets. So at the end 1988 he resigned and left Australia to start a new venture in Chile.
In early 1989 he arrives in Chile with his wife and two sons, born and raised in Australia, and leaving behind an established way of life.

He first works as export consultant for various wineries in Chile, such as CyT and Emiliana, amongst others. The objectives were to open new markets, create world brands and try to raise the image of Chile as a producer of fine wines. That year he also creates Villard Fine Wines, to produce Premium Wines. In parallel he also is representing Nadalié barrels from France.

Thierry’s main goal was to produce premium Whites and Pinot Noir, which were practically non-existent in Chile at that time. The Casablanca Valley had all the climatic attributes to produce the grape varieties which interested him. There was the additional challenge of being somewhat a pioneer in a virgin territory, as in the early 90’s, the Casablanca Valley was totally unknown and only a few growers and wineries were showing interest in its potential.

 

Jean-Charles Villard studied 3 years of agriculture in Chile and then 2 years of Viticulture and Oenology in Bordeaux.
In 2000 at the age of 22 he did his first harvest overseas in the Mc Williams winery in the Hunter Valley Australia.
Then in the year 2001 in South Africa at Villiera Estate.
2002: Bordeaux at Vignobles Despagne.
2003: again at Vignobles Despagne at Girolate project.
2004: Chateau Palmer, Bordeaux.
2005: started working with my family at Villard.
2005: in Emilia Romana, Italy at La Stoppa winery.
2007: in Beaujolais with Christophe Pacalet and Marcel Lapierre.
2009: Burgundy at Chateau de la Tour at Clos Vougeot.
Today he works with Anamaria Pacheco who has been the oenologist working with us since 1997. Thierry is the great judge for final blends and wise advices that makes us a great team.
Thierry & Jean-Charles take care of exports and JC the domestic market.
Madame Paulina Villard surveys all the administration and logistics.
As you can tell we are really a family business very unique in Chile as usually they are big corporate companies. Only 9 employees.

C A S A B L A N C A     V A L L E Y

Located at the foot of the Coastal Mountain range, the Casablanca Valley is 75 km west of Santiago and 35 km from the Pacific Ocean. Casablanca Valley, recognized as Chile’s premium cool climate viticultural region, enjoys sea breezes that extend the ripening period of the grapes, thus maintaining their full flavours and intense aromas.