MEET BEN JEANNERET: THE HEART AND SOUL BEHIND JEANNERET WINES

MEET BEN JEANNERET: THE HEART AND SOUL BEHIND JEANNERET WINES

Their philosophy is simple and straight to the point. Make the best wines possible.. and that’s exactly what they do.

The team behind Jeanneret Wines are not ones for trends or rules, they just make what they love. Their wines are generous in flavour and quality. And just like their self-taught Winemaker, Ben Jeanneret, are charismatic and spirited.

We sat down with Ben to talk about Jeanneret, his passion for wine and what he’s looking forward to most at Red, Rock & Ribs!

RRR: So Ben, Jeanneret Wines; a family owned and run winery and brewery in the beautiful Clare Valley, how did it all start and where do you fit in?

BEN: Funny story… I’ve never really had a “job” expect I’ve been working my entire life. And luckily I’ve spent all that time doing the one thing I love, which is making wine and tending to vineyards. Jeanneret Wines started in 1992 and I’ve been working there since day one. Honestly, I couldn’t imagine myself doing anything else… which is actually a good thing because I doubt nowhere else would have me!

RRR: Ha! And tell us about those early days at Jeanneret.

BEN: I pretty much fell into it… quite literally. My dad began the business just making a couple of barrels each year under our carport. But the passion was undeniable, I fell in love with the process. I’ve never looked back.

RRR: I know parents aren’t meant to have a favourite, but if you had to pick a signature blend what would it be and why?

BEN: That’s tough! But I would have to say our Riesling. Personally, I love Rieslings and at Jeanneret we make four variations, two of which are single vineyard wines (Sevenhill Riesling and Watervale Riesling) meaning they are handled in the exact same way in the winery. We use the same yeast and ferment the same volume in identical tanks at the same temperature keeping the process as matched as much as possible, the only difference is the vineyards. Our goal, at the end, is that the finished wines are absolutely different from one another and a true expression of the individuality of the vineyards themselves. For me, that’s what wine is all about. The vineyards should really speak for themselves, and with a variety as pure as Riesling, it’s the perfect way to tell a truly unique story.

RRR: So then what makes a Jeanneret wine so incredible?

BEN: Flavour, flavour and flavour. And lots of it! We are generous with what we bottle and you can taste it.

RRR: Ok then, what’s your secret sauce? Your 11 herbs and spices if you will?

RRR: So Ben, Jeanneret Wines; a family owned and run winery and brewery in the beautiful Clare Valley, how did it all start and where do you fit in?

BEN: Funny story… I’ve never really had a “job” expect I’ve been working my entire life. And luckily I’ve spent all that time doing the one thing I love, which is making wine and tending to vineyards. Jeanneret Wines started in 1992 and I’ve been working there since day one. Honestly, I couldn’t imagine myself doing anything else… which is actually a good thing because I doubt nowhere else would have me!

RRR: Ha! And tell us about those early days at Jeanneret.

BEN: I pretty much fell into it… quite literally. My dad began the business just making a couple of barrels each year under our carport. But the passion was undeniable, I fell in love with the process. I’ve never looked back.

RRR: I know parents aren’t meant to have a favourite, but if you had to pick a signature blend what would it be and why?

BEN: That’s tough! But I would have to say our Riesling. Personally, I love Rieslings and at Jeanneret we make four variations, two of which are single vineyard wines (Sevenhill Riesling and Watervale Riesling) meaning they are handled in the exact same way in the winery. We use the same yeast and ferment the same volume in identical tanks at the same temperature keeping the process as matched as much as possible, the only difference is the vineyards. Our goal, at the end, is that the finished wines are absolutely different from one another and a true expression of the individuality of the vineyards themselves. For me, that’s what wine is all about. The vineyards should really speak for themselves, and with a variety as pure as Riesling, it’s the perfect way to tell a truly unique story.

RRR: So then what makes a Jeanneret wine so incredible?

BEN: Flavour, flavour and flavour. And lots of it! We are generous with what we bottle and you can taste it.

RRR: Ok then, what’s your secret sauce? Your 11 herbs and spices if you will?

BEN: I can’t tell you that!

RRR: Ok then, well tell us about the best wine you ever had… and where was it?

BEN: Well, because I’ve had so many I can’t remember much! But recently, the best wine I’ve had was a 2006 Wendouree Cabernet Malbec. Wendouree are my favourite producer because their wines are unlike any other wines on the market. Their product speaks to my passion for vineyards and the unique story each tells. Wendouree have definietly nailed that! There’s not English word for “terrior” (which is essentially all the elements coming together to produce a specific crops growth and output) but if there was, I think it would be “Wendouree”.

RRR: Wendouree are another Clare Valley vineyard right? What are your thoughts then of the wine culture here in Australia? What has driven the industry?

BEN: It’s a culmination of immigration, extraordinary food and the fact we can be so versatile when it comes to wine styles here in Australia. We have complete freedom to experiment with varieties, regions and styles. Australian wine is so good. There is something for everyone and they are affordable without compromising on quality or flavour.

BEN: I can’t tell you that!

RRR: Ok then, well tell us about the best wine you ever had… and where was it?

BEN: Well, because I’ve had so many I can’t remember much! But recently, the best wine I’ve had was a 2006 Wendouree Cabernet Malbec. Wendouree are my favourite producer because their wines are unlike any other wines on the market. Their product speaks to my passion for vineyards and the unique story each tells. Wendouree have definietly nailed that! There’s not English word for “terrior” (which is essentially all the elements coming together to produce a specific crops growth and output) but if there was, I think it would be “Wendouree”.

RRR: Wendouree are another Clare Valley vineyard right? What are your thoughts then of the wine culture here in Australia? What has driven the industry?

BEN: It’s a culmination of immigration, extraordinary food and the fact we can be so versatile when it comes to wine styles here in Australia. We have complete freedom to experiment with varieties, regions and styles. Australian wine is so good. There is something for everyone and they are affordable without compromising on quality or flavour.

RRR: Now that we are getting into bottling season, what’s on the cards for Jeanneret in the next few months.

BEN: Apart from getting ready to showcase our blends at Red, Rock & Ribs across Saturday 22 and Sunday 23 June, we are gearing up to bottle out 2018 Single Vineyard Rieslings which is always a really exciting time.

RRR: We can’t wait to have you at Red, Rock & Ribs – what can our Cellar Masters expect from Jeanneret in our Cellar Door Precinct?

BEN: Flavour, flavour, flavour. We won’t hold back!

RRR: What are you most looking forward to seeing at Red, Rock & Ribs?

BEN: Well I love cars and have had a couple of collectible classic cars over the years, so I can’t wait to meander through the display from Coffee n Chrome. But it’ll be a toss up between the BBQ Competition and trialling the Southern Slow Cooked Brisket Brioche that’s on offer too. You might also find me sneaking in a glass or red… or two!

RRR: Now that we are getting into bottling season, what’s on the cards for Jeanneret in the next few months.

BEN: Apart from getting ready to showcase our blends at Red, Rock & Ribs across Saturday 22 and Sunday 23 June, we are gearing up to bottle out 2018 Single Vineyard Rieslings which is always a really exciting time.

RRR: We can’t wait to have you at Red, Rock & Ribs – what can our Cellar Masters expect from Jeanneret in our Cellar Door Precinct?

BEN: Flavour, flavour, flavour. We won’t hold back!

RRR: What are you most looking forward to seeing at Red, Rock & Ribs?

BEN: Well I love cars and have had a couple of collectible classic cars over the years, so I can’t wait to meander through the display from Coffee n Chrome. But it’ll be a toss up between the BBQ Competition and trialling the Southern Slow Cooked Brisket Brioche that’s on offer too. You might also find me sneaking in a glass or red… or two!

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