With 30 years of national and international experience, an accomplished scientific background, and a distinctive artistic talent, award winning head winemaker Gilles Martin blends in his wine creations the classic refinements of old world tradition with the adventurous passion of new world innovation.
Born at the gates of the Champagne region, Gilles headed to the South of France in the Languedoc wine region to obtain an engineering degree in biology and food sciences as well as a prestigious Masters of Oenology from the University of Montpellier. His 1986 Master thesis on the technology of wine ultra-filtration won national acclaim and a first prize, awarded in person, by former France president Jacques Chirac. Eager for fresh adventures and inspiration, the newly graduate Gilles traveled the wine world from Germany, where he worked at Weingut Hans Land winery in the Rheingau, to Australia for harvest at the renowned Houghton winery.
In 1988, he landed on the coast of Virginia where he began training his palate to the exiting challenges of East Coast wine making. Moving west, Gilles was from 1990 to 1996 the assistant winemaker of the much celebrated California Roederer Estate winery, where he produced wines unanimously hailed by the press as “the best sparkling wines ever made outside the Champagne area”. He then returned briefly to his native France to craft for Delas-Frères in the Rhone Valley, critically acclaimed Viognier and Syrah wines.
It was romantic love and his everlasting taste for innovative viticultural exploration that brought Gilles back in 1997 to the Long Island shores and the newly growing East End wine region. After overseeing the birth of three now well established wineries, Macari, Martha Clara and Sherwood house, he enthusiastically returned to his favorite area of excellence and expertise, the creation of distinctive, classy, elegant yet easygoing sparkling wines.
Like Cynthia and Tom , Gilles is deeply convinced that Long Island offers a uniquely suited terroir for the production of sparkling wines. His style and expertise are essential to bringing out the best in each year’s harvest, creating wines that show elegance, balance, and finesse.