I (Jonathan) was born in England but spent my early years in Spain, where I was introduced to wine at fiestas and in bodegas. My first career was in IT as a software designer.
Rachel is from Levin, near Wellington in New Zealand where she was a tax officer. She developed her love of wine visiting the nearby wineries of Martinborough.
We met while working together in London. After a whirlwind romance we got married and moved to New York where we spent 3 exciting years and had our first child, Lydia, in 2000.
On the 11th September 2001, we were living one block from the World Trade Center. After seeing both planes crash into the buildings from a few hundred metres away, we left with what we were wearing. In the aftermath of that disaster, we lost our home, my job and our right to live in the States.
The experience made us think about what really mattered in our life. We wanted to live in a different environment, to have more control over our direction and to spend our time working at something that is challenging and truly motivates us.
Owning a vineyard is an idea that many wine lovers dream about but we wanted to do it properly. I took a WSET course at Plumpton College in the UK and then volunteered at Halfpenny Green Vineyards in Staffordshire for 6 months to get my hands dirty and make sure I was really suited to the work. I loved it!
We then chose to go to New Zealand to study Viticulture and Winemaking and gain experience working for high quality producers.
I came top of my course in Viticulture and Oenology at Lincoln University.
After graduating in 2003, I was offered the role of Assistant Winemaker at Neudorf Vineyards in Nelson,
Under the guiding hand of Tim Finn, I learned hands-on how to make world-class wines.
The 2004 Moutere Chardonnay that I made there is regarded by Bob Cambell MW as the best Chardonnay ever produced in New Zealand.
During that time, we had our second daughter, Issy, in 2004.
Even though we enjoyed life in New Zealand, we decided to return to Europe to do our own thing.
Excited by the great wines being made by other pioneering producers, we decided upon the Roussillon in the South of France.
In January 2006 we bought an old wine domaine in the village of Trouillas, set to work pruning the vines, modernising the winery and crafting our own wines. We have never looked back.