What a fun visit to Domaine Treloar, a small, high-quality wine producing estate located in Dthe Village of Trouillas in the Pyrenees-Orientales department of France.
I must say that it was a fun surprise to hear a friendly New Zealand accent warmly greeting me as I arrived. It was the vice of owner Rachel Treloar (of Maori and Cornish ancestry) who lives and works at the domaine with her English husband Jonathan Hesford and their very young children.
Jonathan is a qualified Viticulturist and Oenologist. He graduated top of his class at Lincoln University, New Zealand’s premiere wine academy. Interestingly, he worked for two years as the assistant winemaker at Neudorf Vineyards, one of the most highly regarded wineries in New Zealand. One of Neudorf’s wines was actually on the Masters of Wine exam, and I am quite familiar with their viticultural goals.
The couple actually lived in Manhattan during 9/11, just a block away from the World Trade Center. The event changed their lives. They lost everything and decided to focus on what mattered in their lives. They decided they wanted a different life for their children, so a desire to own a vineyard was born.
They sell their wine internationally to some of the finest wine shops in the world, such as Cambridge Wine Merchants. Rachel spoke at length about their neighbors who have helped them, and also the way they also help people who want to emulate the life style changes they have made.
Rachel now brings out the cleverly named wines for the tastings, which include One Block Grenache 2015, a fragrant wine, The Secret 2013, made from Syrah and Grenache that sees som oak, Tahi 2011, a tart red wine made from Syrah, Grenache, Mourvedre which are all aged separately in oak barrels, and then the sweet wine Muscat de Rivesaltes 2014
It was an excellent tasting of well-crafted wine, and a great introduction to a brave couple with conviction.