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Jonathan Hesford and Rachel Treloar run a (...)
Jonathan Hesford and Rachel Treloar run a small high-quality winery and vineyard in the Aspres hills of the Roussillon.
About the Owners
Jon was born in Birmingham but spent his early childhood in Spain and Australia before moving to his parents’ home town of Barnsley, South Yorkshire. Rachel is from Levin, near Wellington in New Zealand. Her ancestry is Cornish, Irish and Maori, hence the design on the logo. Jon worked as a software engineer, designing submarine and financial markets systems. Rachel worked in IT quality assurance. They met while working in London and then lived in New York for 3 years, where their first daughter, Lydia, was born.
This is their story of how they came to be vignerons here in the P-O.
We were living 500m from the World Trade Center when it was destroyed in 2001. In the aftermath, Jon was made redundant and we decided to put our lives into something that truly inspired us. We both loved wine and decided to take up the challenge of making our own. We spent 3 years in New Zealand where Jon studied viticulture and oenology, coming top of his course, and then worked as the assistant winemaker for Neudorf, one of New Zealand’s finest vineyards.
Although we enjoyed our time there, New Zealand is a long way from everywhere else. Also the price of vineyard land has risen to around 5 times the price in Europe.
Moving to the Roussillon
The Languedoc-Roussillon is the most exciting wine region in France at the moment, attracting lots of younger winemakers from other areas of France as well as overseas.
We chose to set up in the Roussillon because of its fine vineyard terroir, old vines, perfect climate and the interesting history and culture.
In February 2006 we bought 10ha of old vines and a winery in an ancient building on the edge of the small Catalan village of Trouillas. We immediately started work in the vines and improving the winery.
In the second half of the year we built our apartment within the winery along with rooms for storing the barrels, bottled wine and a tasting room.
We do all the work in the vineyards and winery ourselves: tending the vines, making the wine (including the analysis), designing the packaging and (the hardest part) the sales and marketing. Although it is a lot of work, we find it very varied and satisfying.
The FutureOur aim is to be one of the finest producers in the region and also to be a visitor-friendly winery in the New World style. We have built an event room within the cave to hold tastings and also conduct interesting tours of the vineyards in French and English, including lunches on request. We hold art exhibitions and regular open days and are also planning the first ever wine fair for the village.
Our first vintage, although stressful, was a great success and 2007 promises equally fine wines. Our wines are now on sale in a number of cavistes in the P-O. Our major task for 2008 is to find more export outlets for the wine at the same time as improving the visitor facilities and of course keeping the vineyard in top condition and preparing the wines for bottling.The winery is open on Tuesday and Thursday afternoons as well as Saturday and Sunday over summer. We are always happy to welcome visitors and answer any questions about wine, viticulture and our experiences.Domaine Treloar, 16 Traverse de Thuir 66300 TROUILLASTel: 04 68 95 02 29For more information see the website www.domainetreloar.com