Winemaker crushed to death by wine press

Bernard Rouanet, a winemaker in the Languedoc, died tragically last Thursday after his head was crushed in the wine press of his vineyard.

Bernard Rouanet (left). (Photo credit: Facebook – Domaine Rouanet Montcélèbre.)

Bernard Rouanet, owner of the Domaine Rouanet Montcélèbre vineyard, located next to the village of Cesseras in the Minervois region of the Languedoc, died last Thursday (17/08/2017) while attempting to repair his wine press.

Emergency services rushed to his vineyard, but were unable to save the winemaker from his death. Rouanet was buried in the church of Minerva in Cesseras yesterday (22/08/2017) – he was 57 years old.

Bernard Rouanet and his wife bought the 23 ha Domaine Rouanet Montcélèbre in 1987 and had recently introduced organic wine production practices to the vineyard.

The family’s vines are grown on clay and limestone at an altitude of 250 to 300 metres. The vineyard’s wines have won several awards, including a star in the Guide Hachette des Vins for its red wine and a silver medal for its white wine this year, and three stars for its rosé wine last year.

Speaking exclusively to the drinks business, Rouanet’s neighbour, Gerard Chabbert, paid homage to his deceased neighbour.

“It is very sad,” said Chabbert. “Bernard was much loved in the village of Cesseras, he worked very hard on his vineyard,” Chabbert, a retired winemaker said.

“He was trying to fix his wine press and he gave the order for the machine to be turned back on when the tragic incident occurred.”

“I do not know how the family and his children will cope,” he added.

For obvious reasons, the Rouanet family were unavailable for comment. French authorities have launched an inquiry into Rouanet’s death.

Domaine Rouanet Montcélèbre.

10 Responses to “Winemaker crushed to death by wine press”

  1. sal Captain says:

    Our thoughts and condolences to the family and friends. As a wine maker who always repairs his equipment and infrastructure, I can sympathize with what he was doing, but as usual, communications is key, and I for one admit, I fell into this situation few times, but lucky for me and my family and friends, I am still alive. Just yesterday, I spent 5 hours at the emergency room for a fall I suffered from a deck that I was repairing. Such is life for those who are passionate and committed to their profession. May he rest in peace.

  2. Thoughts and prayers from Sonoma County, Ca.

  3. Adolfo Alarcon says:

    Very sad and completely avoidable, as simple as following a “lock out tag out” procedure.

  4. Our deepest sympathies are with the family and all of Languedoc. Dieu vous bénisse.

  5. Our deepest condolences to the Rouanet family.
    Puisse-t-il reposer en paix

  6. Abhay says:

    Deep condolences, really tragic end
    May god give great courage to his family to handle situation.

  7. Won says:

    All our condolences to the Rouanet Family. Rest in Peace..

  8. This is so sad. We do what we love and then tragedy strikes? I am so sorry. Blessings to the family and friends.

  9. Roy Ramirez says:

    Our deepest condolences from Napa Valley ca

  10. Martine says:

    We are very sorry. On Tuesday 15 August, we bought the delicious wine. He advised us perfectly. Now in the Netherlands we drink a beautiful glass of MontCélèbre on him.

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