Jancis Robinson in the Financial Times (12 May 08) talks about the growing number of Brits who have followed their dream and bought a vineyard in France.
It is hardly surprising then that a substantial proportion of the hundreds of thousands of Brits who own French property have been tempted by the apparently bucolic life of a vigneron……
Are there any French winemakers left down there?
I asked Walter McKinlay, whose Domaine de Mourchon southern Rhône wines are some of the most successful from a British domaine, whether his Domaine de Mourchon wines were financially viable. He frowned. “Just about,” he said cautiously, then smiled. “But it’s a lovely lifestyle though.”
My own observation would be that it can be incredibly hard work and despite the attractions of the climate, landscape and the French way of life, it can also be very stressful. And as with all winemakers, a bad harvest, particularly in the early years can be devastating.
So, here’s our list of British winemakers / vineyard owners (also including a South African, Irish and New Zealand)) – that we are aware of (not an exhaustive list I am sure). Visits can be much more informative if the language is no barrier:-
with holiday accommodation:-
- Domaine de Laroux – Cotes de Gascogne (32 Gers, Midi-Pyrenees) – Nick and Karen Kitchener (+ Holiday accommodation)
- Chateau Feely(Haut Garrigue) - Bergerac AC (24 Dordogne, Aquitaine) – Sean and Caroline Feely (the Irish/South African couple running an organic vineyard also known as Wild Earth Vineyards) (+ Holiday accommodation)
- Domaine de Fontenay – Cote Roannaise AC (42 Loire, Rhone-Alpes) – Simon and Isabelle Hawkins (+ Holiday accommodation)
- Domaine Gourdon – Cotes de Duras AC (47 Lot-et-Garonne, Aquitaine) – John Coulthard (+ Holiday accommodation)
- Chateau la Tour de Chollet – Bordeaux AC (33 Gironde, Aquitaine) (+ Holiday accommodation)
- Chateau Bauduc - Bordeaux AC (33 Gironde, Aquitaine) – Gavin and Angela Quinney (+ Holiday accommodation)
- Chateau Haute-Fontaine – Corbières AC (11 Aude, Languedoc) – Paul and Penny Dudson (+ Holiday accommodation)
- Domaine Treloar Cotes du Roussillon(66 Pyrenees-Orientales, Roussillon) – Jonathan and Rachel Treloar (+ Holiday accommodation)
- Chateau Claribes Bordeaux AC (33 Gironde, Aquitaine)- Nick Kinder and partner Helen (+ Holiday accommodation)
no accommodation, but visitors welcome:-
- Chateau Richard – Bergerac AC (24 Dordogne, Aquitaine) – Richard Doughty
- Domaine de Merchien – Coteaux du Quercy and beer! (46 Lot, Midi-Pyrenees – David & Sarah Meakin
- Chateau des Milles Anges -Bordeaux AC (33 Gironde, Aquitaine) – Heather van Ekris
- Domaine du Grand Mayne – Cotes de Duras AC (47 Lot-et-Garonne, Aquitaine) – Andrew Gordon
- Domaine de Begude – Limoux AC (11 Aude, Languedoc-Roussillon) – Catherine and James Kinglake
- Domaine de Mourchon – Cotes du Rhone Seguret AC (84 Vaucluse, Provence) – Walter McKinley
- Maison des Bulliats – Regnie AC Beaujolais (69 Rhone, Rhone-Alpes) – Fred and Helen Lockwood
- Chateau Méaume - Bordeaux Superieur AC (33 Gironde, Aquitaine) – Alan and Sue Johnson-Hill
- Domaine Sainte Rose – Vin de Pays d’Oc (34 Herault, Languedoc-Roussillon) – Charles and Ruth Simpson
- Domaine Sainte Croix - Corbieres AC (11 Aude, Languedoc-Roussillon) – Jon & Elizabeth Bowen
- Chateau du Seuil -Bordeaux AC (33 Gironde, Aquitaine) – Sean and Nicola Allison
- Chateau Civrac- Bordeaux (33 Gironde, Aquitaine) – Mark Hellyar
- Chateau Maris, Minervois (11 Aude, Languedoc-Roussillon) – Robert Eden
- Domaine Jones, Fitou AC (11 Aude, Languedoc-Roussillon) – Katie Jones
- Mirabeau Cotes de Provence AC (83 Var, Provence) – Stephen and Jeany Cronk
know of any others – then let us know!