Jean Desire Feraud

Jean Desire Ferauds was a Frenchman who made his fortune with a very successful gold claim at Frenchman's Point. He arrived at the Dunstan goldfields sometime in 1863 with his partner, Bladier, mining together until 1865. They both took up land on the Dunstan Flats through the Agricultural Lease Regulations. With the lease was an assumption of water rights. He also immersed himself in community affairs and was elected first mayor of the young Clyde municipality.

In 1864 one or both of the men travelled to Australia and brought back a wide range of plants including fruit trees and berry crops and several thousand grape cuttings. They planted out their grape cutting in October 1864. Ferauds continued to grow grapes and also made wine from the grapes. Feraud's wines won prizes at shows in Sydney and Melbourne from 1879 to 1881.

In November 1866, Feraud's 2year old son, Jean Louis Edward died. He and his wife had no further family but their home at Monte Christo was a focal point for social events in the community. In 1882 after 19 years in Dunstan, where the energetic and enterprising man was made a Justice of the Peace and a founding member of the hospital committee and the Clyde Improvement Society, he sold up and moved to Dunedin.

Jean Desire Feraud appreciated the opportunities this developing country offered in horticulture and one hundred and thirty years later, the present generations are benefiting from his establishment of irrigation, orcharding, viticulture and oenology in Central Otago.

Jean Desire Ferauds legacy lives on
David's Uncle, Peter Bodkin grew up on the property of Monte Christo, Jean Desire Feraud's original vineyard. Some of the original vines survived in other locations in the South Island, they have been propagated and planted out at Davishon Vineyard. The grapes the vines produce are large and round, with the variety and clone undetermined. Experts feel they are of Italian origin. They ripen most successfully in hot seasons.

Wine was produced from the grapes in 2002 for a presentation at Monte Christo winery, bottled in the old-style blue bottles and appropriately named Feraud's Legacy. Today, the original winery has been restored to its former glory.

Our Ferauds Chardonnay label helps keep Jean Desire Feraud alive. Jean Desire Ferauds legacy lives on.