Friday, December 3, 2021

Domaine Treloar

Domaine Treloar is a small winery in the Languedoc-Roussillon region in the South of France.  What makes this winery special is that it is owned and operated by an Englishman from Yorkshire and his New Zealand wife, from where the name of the winery is derived.

To take on the French at their own game in France is certainly a bold move and you would imagine that Jonathan and Rachel had years of wine making experience behind them before embarking on such a venture.  In fact they had spent about 5 years in the industry studying and working with some of the most prestigious wine makers in New Zealand before deciding to buy their dream here in France.  Briefly, their back story is one of IT and tax officer before a monumental World event changed their lives forever.

Whilst working and living in New York they were unfortunate enough to have an apartment one block away from the World Trade Centre in September 2001.  Watching both planes hit the Towers they were forced to evacuate with their baby daughter and whatever belongings they could carry.  Jonathan later lost his job and along with it, his right to live in America.  A new perspective on life was called for so he decided to follow a dream of being involved in wine production.  After a short course in England they moved to New Zealand to study viticulture at university and work alongside some of the best winemakers in New Zealand.  Jonathan was clearly a natural, finishing top of his class.

Domaine Treloar, Restes de muralles
Claudefà, CC BY-SA 4.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

I first met Jonathan and Rachel in 2015 when looking for wine for the restaurant, by which time they had been in France about 9 years.  The winery itself is small and they have around 10 hectares of vines which are worked by themselves.  Jonathan kindly opened several wines for us to sample and over the course of the next hour we talked wine, France and the trials of being English in a very French dominated business.  We left with a couple of cases of their extremely good One Block Muscat.

From the original 10 hectares that they bought around Trouillas in 2006, Domaine Treloar has expanded and now includes an additional 2 hectares of the oldest Syrah vines in Trouillas as well as renting two vineyards on the slopes of Forca Real.  They now produce 13 very distinct wines of unique character with names that follow inspiration from songs by Bruce Springsteen and, of course, their experience of living One Block away on that fateful day. 

All Jonathan’s wines have been highly acclaimed by some of the most respected wine critics in the business – names such as Jancis Robinson, publications like Decanter, Wine Spectator and Guide Hachette.  He now produces some of the best wines in the Roussillon region and is getting the recognition that he deserves.

Domaine Treloar has a following in the local area as well as abroad and supplies some carefully chosen restaurants.  The French have finally accepted that not only can an Englishman make wine he can make extremely fine wine.  Their winemaking philosophy is simple “ I believe that great wine is real wine. Wine that is created by the vineyard and requires only gentle encouragement in the winery to transform the grapes into fine wine”.  The winery is open to tours and tastings which can be booked in advance – I am sure you will not be disappointed.

16 Traverse de Thuir,66300 Trouillas FRANCE https://www.domainetreloar.com/

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Dave Winteridge
I am a restaurateur in the South of France but originally from Great Britain. I have spent around 30 years in the hospitality industry and over the past 12 years I have opened restaurants in Spain and France. I am a keen skier, living in the Pyrenees, and ideally for the future I would like to spend less time at the stove and more time at the keyboard.

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