At Jones Winery and Vineyard, the wine steals the show. Considering the charm of the historic property and the quality of food served in the Cellar Door’s restaurant, this is no mean feat.
The winery was established in 1860 and taken over by Leslie Jones in 1927. Leslie went on to establish a thriving winemaking business that has remained in his family ever since. Today, it is owned and operated by two of Leslie’s grandchildren, Mandy and Arthur.
Arthur, the viticulturist, is in charge of ensuring the success of the vineyard and farm. He is focused on reinvigorating the original vineyard as well as nurturing younger vineyards; using his mechanical expertise to continually monitor the winery and upgrade equipment where necessary.
Mandy is Head Winemaker and holds degrees in applied science from the University of Melbourne and wine science from Charles Sturt University. This, combined with 14 years experience working at Chateau Carsin in Bordeaux, makes her more than qualified for the position.
At Jones Winery and Vineyard, Mandy describes herself as a ‘lazy winemaker’ – she does as little as possible to the grapes to ensure they naturally develop a strong regional character and personality of the climatic conditions in which they were grown. Mandy’s inventive approach to winemaking includes open fermentation methods in century-old vats previously used by her grandfather and the original German owners.
The warm climate and soils in the Rutherglen region are very suitable for southern European grape varieties, including marsanne and durif. While the winery specialises in red varieties, it also creates white, sparkling and fortified wines. The flagship wine, however, is the Jones Winery and Vineyard ‘LJ’. Featuring grapes from a 111-year-old vineyard, it is a delicious drop of shiraz and a hint of grenache with rich flavours of berry, liquorice and spice.
Sample the flagship, or one of the other award-winning wines, at Jones Winery and Vineyard’s Cellar Door and adjoining restaurant. The Cellar Door is housed in a heritage-listed building that dates back to the 1860s and retains its original stringy-bark ceiling. The walls of the space are the original handmade brick, with corrugated iron featured throughout the building.
The adjoining restaurant has a modern French style that includes an outdoor vine-covered dining area. The space is fitted with antique tables and chairs and serves up traditional French cafe fare, a natural choice for Mandy after her years working in Bordeaux. The seasonal menu uses local produce to create a range of dishes, all of which can be perfectly paired with a glass of Jones wine.
Lunch options may include a delicious confit duck on potato and herb crique with braised red cabbage and hazelnuts; or everyone’s favourite – Croque Monsieur, made with locally cured ham and sourdough. Pair any meal with a glass of wine and treat yourself to a dessert like black forest trifle – whatever you choose, you’re sure to enjoy a modern and elegant dining experience.
Jones Winery and Vineyard offers an experience that will warm the heart and soul – the garden gallery, rose garden and acres of vines are something to be marvelled at and the cleverly crafted wines are so beautifully structured you may never want to leave this historic property