A passionate artisan winemaker, Derek Jones from DJ Wines makes his wines in small batches using natural winemaking principles in a boutique winery based in the heart of rural Suffolk. It is all about the fruit and low intervention winemaking, neither manipulating with the process nor adding nasties along the way. Crafted from whole UK fruit, mostly East Anglian to produce fantastic fruit wines which retain their inherent acidity and sweetness, without additives and typically contain low levels of total sulphites, less than 30mg/l. All Derek’s wines are made from 100% of fruit declared on the label, no added white grape or apple juice concentrate here. Though not certified as such, these wines are suitable for vegetarians and vegans.
Since 2012 when Derek started the making these wines, his main goal has been to reduce the added sugar content of his wines while retaining a balance of acidity. Unlike many conventional fruit wines, many of Derek’s are lower in sugar and therefore have more natural acidic character, wines like the Rhubarb Wine, Elderflower & Gooseberry Wine are dry, though there are still some sweet favourites; Redcurrant Wine and Strawberry Wine. As an ethical and honest trader, Derek’s priorities are based on sustainable practices and providence, by supporting and sourcing materials from other local businesses. Two products are a good example of this the “Monk’s Mead” and a fortified damson wine called “Damport”. The Mead is made from 100% honey, collected from bees which have been feeding on Suffolk Coastal Heather, a great desert wine, which also pairs very well with many local cheeses. Latest addition to the DJ Wines Stable has been the Damport a light fruity port style wine, great with duck or venison dishes and as an after-dinner tipple with cheese. Using the same care and attention, Derek also produces a range of Liqueurs steeped up to two years in some cases to provide intense flavour and colour. Products like Sloe Gin available in sweet and dry versions, made using gin sourced from Langley Distillery. Other products include traditional fruit liqueurs like Damson, Raspberry, Strawberry, and Cherry with brandy. Again, many of which contain less sugar than conventional recipes state. One great favourite is the Bramble with whisky, sweetened with local honey, to be enjoyed on its own or very versatile in many recipes.