Meet Jackie and Adrian - Barton Jones Wines Donnybrook
Jackie, Tell us how yourself and Adrian ended up owning a winery in Donnybrook - Barton Jones ?
With only a love of wine behind us, we looked at the wide open spaces here in Australia and that together with a strong belief that anything is possible, we bought a neglected vineyard, here in the South West, which we’ve spent a while re-invigorating. We had thought we might plant olive trees but as things turned out we’re pleased with our decision to go with the vineyard instead! Making wines has been a very interesting and an extremely rewarding outcome for our efforts.
Your cellar door building is so unique, where did the concept come from?
We blame Kevin McCloud! You could say we’d been watching too many Grand Designs programs and so when we decided to build a cellar door the idea of a straight forward design was never on the table.
We had a few requirements which we think this building delivers. Eye-catching design; something we could largely build ourselves, and which gave consideration to the environment, both from fitting in with the vineyard but also from the point of being kind on the planet
What has been the biggest challenge and surprise you and Adrian have experienced in your years at the winery?
The biggest challenge is always having a different set of conditions every year to contend with in the vineyard. This is particularly the case with our dry grown vineyard which has its own challenges during the hot dry summer.
And the biggest surprise to us is that the wines that we make are worthy of being on any table, the world over, and that they bring praise from well-respected wine aficionados.
I personally love the outdoor lawn and vista, perfect to while away the afternoons, You’re also doing food along with your wines, and source local produce as much as possible, was this a natural progression from offering just cellar door?
Absolutely! Wine is best enjoyed with food in our opinion and it’s logical that we should not only be showcasing our wines at cellar door but also the amazing produce we have here in the South West. We are particularly pleased to have access to some great artisan cheeses, Over the Moon Organics in Albany and Cambray in Nannup. We are also using organic produce where possible as well as it being local.
What do you love most about the Donnybrook region and how do you spend some much deserved time off?
The hill country and farmland around Donnybrook is really beautiful at any time of year, whether it be the orchards in blossom in October or the trees laden with fruit between January and April, or simply the green paddocks in the high country with cattle grazing during the winter.
As for time off, which is a rare commodity for a small business, we enjoy a glass of wine or two and enjoy the view! Either that or we try to head for the snow fields or take a busman’s holiday to another wine region.