Producer Profile: Domaine Jones, with Katie Jones in Fitou AOC France


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Welcome to the second producer profile this time we are in southern France, Languedoc specifically in Fitou with Owner/Winemaker, Katie Jones of Domaine Jones.
Katie moved to southern France from England to work for the local Co-operative, as the years passed she decided to open her own winery in 2008, starting off with a mere two hectares of old vine Carignan, something unheard of in her village of Touchon.
Katie looks for vineyards no-one else wants would only be a slight exaggeration. Most other growers in the area wouldn’t be interested in her modest twelve hectares of vines spread across vineyards in Maury and Tuchan.. she looks for low yields with high quality, and the rather poor, sloping ground that the very old, traditional vines cling to gives her just that.
Katie's tell us how she managed to acquire those many micro old vines vineyards in her villages it was a bit of luck that they weren’t uprooted in the early 2000s when the local regulatory body ripped up many hectares of vineyards. Katies has now a collection of rare varieties that she uses for her wines.
Wine cooperatives in France started in the late 1800s, mostly out of economic necessity, and continue to flourish today particularly in southern France, and that’s why it is more difficult to find independent grower, winemakers in the region.
We also talked about why the Fitou viticultural area is, unusually, got split into two separate zones for historical reason.
They are both finger-like enclaves stretching northwards into the larger Corbieres viticultural area. Each measure around 13 kilometres (8 miles) from north to south and less than half that from east to west. The two areas have a combined vineyard area of around 2650 hectares (6500 acres).
The inland 'finger' is known unofficially as Fitou Montagneux ('mountainous Fitou'). This area is relatively hilly – vineyards here lie anywhere between 100m and 400m (330ft to 1310ft).
The low-yielding vines here can produce fruits of great quality. In recent years this is being more reliably achieved.
Its coastal counterpart, Fitou Maritime, is situated on slightly flatter land at the transition point between the Pyrenean foothills and the coastal plain. Vineyards here rarely sit above 150m in altitude.
To read more about D Jones and Fitou:

26 episode