Domaine Joseph JanoueixHistory, savoir-faire, passion & tradition

Anna Caidan meets up with Françoise Janoueix, Jean-François' wife and part of the third generation at domaine Joseph Janoueix
Wine Story

What could you tell me about the history of Domaine Janoueix?

‘The Domaine Janoueix dates back a long time. My grandfather-in-law was in central France, and decided to move to the north of France, to sell wine. He bought wine in Bordeaux, and he sold wine in French Brittany. After a while he says, “I buy wine, but the best for me is to buy vineyards”. So, the first vineyard he bought was in 1930 and it was only four of five hectares. After the war, it was very bad; we renovated the vineyards and the château, and after he bought a little piece of Pomerol in 1961, Château la Croix, and after Château la Croix-Saint-Georges. My husband bought Châteaux Castelot and Château Haut-Sarpe. Now it’s our children who buy vineyards; both my sons have vineyards.’

What is the secret to making your wines?

‘We have no secrets. We have passion and we love wine! We have a master of cellar who loves wine, and my husband who is passionate, so I think the secret is there.’

What is your favourite step in the winemaking process?

‘The harvest! It’s a very important and busy time, and we are happy when it is finished because we are always afraid of the storm and the hail, so when the crop has been collected, we are happy because 2019 is very good in quality. The grapes were very small, so we didn’t think there would be a lot of juice, but there is!’

What is your best memory since working at Domaine Janoueix?

‘The first time I picked the grapes myself! I was 21 and it was great fun and a nice experience, and afterwards I went to the cellar to see how the wine turned out, because I was not in the wine business when I met my husband. Now it’s been 53 years, I have a bit of experience now!’

And your most challenging moment?

‘When we have a new market, it’s a challenge!’

How would you describe your wines in three words?

‘Classical, natural, the best!’

How are your wines best served?

I would age them for 10 years! But we are lucky because of the terroir, they can last a long time, but I think it is better to drink the wine when you find the right mood!

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