Cellar Talk with Katie Jones
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Honoring Women in Wine:
Jones on overcoming adversity, finding motivation, and creating a lifestyle in southern France
Interviewed by Nick Baines
1. How did you get your start in wine?
It was really totally by accident. I came from a wine sales and marketing background and one day decided that it would be interesting to see if I could make my own wine rather than selling other people’s. In 2009 I gave it a go and here I am now.
2. Where are you in your career now?
I don’t see it as a career, but more a way of life. So I would say that my way of life is pretty perfect at the moment. Farming my vineyards here in the south of France in a tiny rural backwater. I can’t imagine it getting much better, but it’s the result of 35 years of experience in the wine trade.
3. How do Naked Angels empower you as a winemaker?
I don’t think Angels realize the impact their comments on my wall have, but I read every one of them and they are my main source of motivation.
Sometimes, when the wind is blowing at 70mph or it’s 40ºC in the shade, you don’t really fancy going out in the vineyards, but being in direct contact with the Angels who are drinking my wine gives me that extra push to get out the front door.
4. What’s a BIG lesson you’ve learned along the way?
There’s always sunshine after the rain. I’ve had big challenges along the way with the whole village turning against me when I started to make wine.
After repeated vandalism and our white wine tanks being emptied, the easiest thing to do would’ve been to pack up and leave.
But having the support and feedback from Angels, seeing them believe in what we were doing, helped me to be resilient and feel part of a much wider community.
5. What’s the message you have for other women winemakers?
Don’t consider yourself a woman winemaker, but as a winemaker. Don’t start with an inferiority complex just because you’re a woman.
6. What is your big hope for women in wine in the future?
That they feel they’re capable and able to make great wines.
Nick Baines is a food and travel writer based in London.