My Latest in Taste of France:
“How a London Hairdresser Became an Award-Winning Winemaker in France.”
by L.M. Archer
From a hairdresser living on a Dunkirk Little Ship in Canary Wharf to an award-winning biodynamic winemaker on a vineyard in Bordeaux, it’s been quite a journey for Dawn Jones-Cooper, of Château de Monfaucon. L.M. Archer finds out more.
Who has inspired you in your wine career?
The romance of wine brought a mad idea to my mind, “cutting hair… cutting vines must be similar − just think how good that canopy would look with a good short back and sides.”
With my romantic wine idea firmly in my sights, Project Three (‘I am going to be a winemaker’) began. Working as a hairdresser for 26 years opposite St James’s Palace in London has its upsides: just like any other village, you tend to know everyone in St James. I asked a friend of mine, the head of Berry Brothers & Rudd wine school The Queen’s Winery, if there was a short course I could do, and her reply was just two words: ‘Plumpton College’. So I contacted the college, and attended their next open day. By the end, I had signed up for a full-time degree in Viticulture and Oenology on a part-time basis, one day a week for the next four years, whilst at the same time doing an evening course in wine tasting/degustation at WSET in Bermondsey.
What’s the terroir like?
We have 3.5 hectares, the terroir being a mixture of rich alluvial soil, clay, and a few strakes of sand. We only grow white grapes, as there are already 12,000 producers of red wine in Bordeaux, and we wanted to find our niche. The varietals we grow are Sauvignon Blanc, Sémillon, Muscadelle and Chardonnay.
Tell us about your approach in the vineyard.
Many of my projects at college, purely by fluke, happened to be on organic and biodynamic methods, so like any student, I studied them, deciding that they were the methods I would like to follow... READ MORE HERE.
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