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Corney and Barrow


by Adam Brett-Smith

It is with deep regret that we formally announce the death at the age of 56 of Henry-Frédéric Roch, co-director of the Domaine de la Romanée-Conti.

Henry, son of Pauline Roch-Leroy, and nephew of Lalou Bize-Leroy, had worked alongside Aubert de Villaine for some 26 years after the tragic death of his older brother Charles Roch in a car accident. In incredibly challenging and exciting times the partnership between Henry and Aubert was, from the beginning, wonderfully effective. Aubert referred to Henry’s “strong idea of the duties of our families regarding the Domaine. He was on my side for all the important decisions we had to make. Our collaboration was excellent.”

On a personal level, he was very kind to me and in our many meetings and meals together his giant presence always exuded confidence and a wicked sense of humour alongside a love of life, a great courtesy and generosity.

In 1988 Henry founded his own estate Domaine Prieuré Roch in Prémeaux-Prissey including ownership of the Monopole of Nuits-St-Georges 1er Cru Les Corvées. Biodynamically farmed, the wines produced were very like the man himself – structured, powerful and emotional.

The funeral was held at the L’Eglise de Boudry near Neuchâtel in Switzerland. The church was full of extended family and friends. It was a deeply moving occasion and a great tribute to a rich, complex and extraordinary life.

We shall all miss him enormously and send again our deepest and fondest thoughts to the family and to the Domaine.

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