Jane Eyre is not only the name of the heroine from Charlotte Brontë’s famous novel, but also that of a Melbourne-born former hairdresser who moved to Burgundy in order to follow her dream of making high-quality Pinot Noir. Jane made her first trip to the region in 1998, and between 1999 and 2003, she split her time between France and Australia, flying back home in between vintages. In 2004 she left Australia again, with the plan of only staying for three months, but that time ballooned out immensely. Jane now works as an assistant winemaker at Domaine Newman in Beaune, Burgundy, while also producing her own label, from fruit she purchases from growers (otherwise known as a ‘négociant’ in French, or ‘virtual winemaker’ in other climes). Jane also comes back to Australia to make wine, using William Downie’s winery in Gippsland, from fruit grown there, in the Yarra Valley, Fleurieu and Mornington Peninsulas. Given that she is located in Burgundy, most of the time, it’s no surprise to discover that her main focus is Pinot Noir.
Jane Eyre produces mostly Pinot Noir, such as Volnay, Gevrey-Chambertin and Savigny-Lés-Beaune. The Gippsland Pinot Noir is quite austere but opens up after breathing for a while, revealing blackberries, plums and spice. The Mornington Peninsula Pinot Noir is sourced from two vineyards, with 20% whole-bunch, and is darker than the Gippsland, with lots of raspberry and cherry on the nose. As for the Jane Eyre wines from Burgundy, there are simply too many to choose from, though many are rated highly by some of the world’s best critics.
Jane Eyre doesn’t have an official website, but you can find out more about the wines here.