British Winemakers turned French Vignerons

Simon Hawkins at Domaine du Fontenay
Simon Hawkins at Domaine du Fontenay

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 (or at least winemakers whose first language is English, as the list also includes those who are 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:-

no accommodation, but visitors may be welcome (phone/email first):

  • Clos Cantenac St Emilion Grand Cru AC (33 Gironde, Aquitaine) – Martin Krajewski
  • Chateau CivracBordeaux (33 Gironde, Aquitaine) – Mark Hellyar
  • Chateau RichardBergerac AC (24 Dordogne, Aquitaine) – Richard Doughty
  • Chateau Méaume Bordeaux Superieur AC (33 Gironde, Aquitaine) – Alan and Sue Johnson-Hill
  • Chateau du Seuil Bordeaux AC (33 Gironde, Aquitaine) – Sean and Nicola Allison
  • Chateau Maris, Minervois (11 Aude, Languedoc-Roussillon) – Robert Eden
  • Chateau Teysssier St Emilion Grand Cru AC (33 Gironde, Aquitaine) – Jonathan & Lyn Maltus
  • Chateau UnangCotes du Ventoux AC (84 Vaucluse, Provence) – James and Joanna King
  • Domaine du Grand MayneCotes de Duras AC (47 Lot-et-Garonne, Aquitaine) – Andrew Gordon
  • Domaine de BegudeLimoux AC (11 Aude, Languedoc-Roussillon) – Catherine and James Kinglake
  • Domaine de MerchienCoteaux du Quercy and beer! (46 Lot, Midi-Pyrenees – David & Sarah Meakin
  • Domaine de MourchonCotes du Rhone Seguret AC (84 Vaucluse, Provence) – Walter McKinley
  • Domaine de la Rencontre AOC Muscat (34 Hérault) – Pierre and Julie Viudes
  • Domaine du Garinet – Cahors AC (46 Lot,Midi-Pyrenees) – Mike & Sue Spring
  • Domaine Jones, Fitou AC (11 Aude, Languedoc-Roussillon) – Katie Jones
  • Domaine Sainte RoseVin de Pays d’Oc (34 Herault, Languedoc-Roussillon) – Charles and Ruth Simpson
  • Domaine Sainte Croix Corbieres AC (11 Aude, Languedoc-Roussillon) – Jon & Elizabeth Bowen
  • Maison des BulliatsRegnie AC Beaujolais (69 Rhone, Rhone-Alpes) – Fred and Helen Lockwood
  • MirabeauCotes de Provence AC (83 Var, Provence) – Stephen and Jeany Cronk
  • Paradise RescuedBordeaux AC (33 Gironde, Nouvelle Aquitaine) David Stannard (with Australian connections!0

know of any others – then let us know!

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