For the first time in history, we will be soon able to drink some London wine. It all started in Roussillon, in a vineyard located in the foothills of the Pyrenees mountains along the shores of the Mediterranean. The Jonquères d’Oriola family has been producing wines here since 1485 from an 80-hectare vineyard classed as Pays d’Oc PGI and appellation Côtes du Roussillon, Muscat de Rivesaltes and Rivesaltes. Philippe and William Jonquères d’Oriola, the estate’s current owners, are respectively the family’s 26th and 27th generation of winegrowers.
London wine: a crazy yet novel idea
Last year, the pair hatched an amazing plan to ship 3 tonnes of Chardonnay grapes and a further 3 tonnes of Syrah to London to make this first London wine. The final destination for the fruit was London Cru Winery, a disused gin distillery in Earl’s Court, in the heart of the British capital, which was converted into a winery to produce London’s first wine (vintage 2013). The Chardonnay was recently bottled and the Syrah is currently being aged in casks. We are now eager to taste Cuvée SW6, a London wine with dual nationality!
London wine: doubling the stakes in 2014
After an initial highly successful and fun experience, the volumes have been doubled this year with 6 tonnes each of Chardonnay and Syrah crushed in London. The grapes were hand harvested then shipped in crates on August 22 for the Chardonnay and August 29 for the Syrah in a refrigerated lorry with a constant temperature of 5°C to ensure optimum storage conditions for the fruit. The grapes have arrived at London Cru Winery where Australian winemaker Gavin Monery is now fermenting them. His job is to make a quality wine with assistance from William Jonquères d’Oriola, back in the Pyrenees.
London wine: Roussillon-on-Thames
The event has allowed Catalonian culture to be transported to restaurants and homes across London where wines imported from closely-connected Australian and New Zealand producers have become the norm. Château de Corneilla has now undoubtedly become an ambassador for Roussillon in Great Britain. The title is one illustrious ancestor Pierre Jonquères d’Oriola – a skilled horse rider and rugby man in his spare time - would certainly have appreciated.
Let us know if you think you’d like to try this London wine from Roussillon.