Languedoc-Roussillon

Joseph Jefferies

Joseph JefferiesJoseph Jefferies is an Englishman who arrived in the Languedoc in 2003 to renovate a house. He met his wife Amandine and stayed. They’ve settled in the village of Caux.

He’s a self-taught winemaker whose major influences have been Bernard Bellahsen and Rémi Poujol. From them he learned that it’s good to be completely uncompromising in making wine, saw proof that you can make (more) delicious wine without additives or unnecessary intervention.

He farms 4.5 hectares of vines on volcanic soil around Caux. This size allows him to do everything on his own in the vineyard (apart from harvesting, which is done by hand) and the cellar (apart from bottling). He wants to stay small so he can work in a careful, uncompromising way to make truly artisanal wine. For him, it’s about finding the right balance, and creating a healthy environment for his children to grow up in.

He grows only Mediterranean varieties, Carignan, Grenache and Cinsault for the reds, and Terret, Grenache and Marsanne for the whites. He chose his parcels for the quality of the soil and for where they are. To keep freshness in his wines, he wanted to avoid south-facing vineyards. All his wines, though, are influenced by the volcanic soil, which gives them minerality, freshness and purity.

He describes his wines as home-made, which means he make wines that he wants to drink. As he says, if he baked a cake at home, he wouldn’t put additives in it, so why would he put additives and preservatives in his wine?

It means being organic in the vineyard, and not putting anything in the wine in the cellar. He doesn’t cold-settle his whites before fermentation and he macerates his reds very gently with minimum intervention. He leaves all his wines on their lees for around eight months, and doesn’t filter, fine, de-gas or add sulfites. Like us, he loves the vitality and freedom of expression of natural wines, and doesn’t want to make or drink anything else.