DANIEL JONBERGER: ROCKLIFFE HALL’S WINE MAN

Rockliffe Hall's head sommelier, Daniel Jonberger, is a man who knows his wine. Elysia Agnew checks in to talk English sips, vineyard trips and top wine tips.
MEET ROCKLIFFE HALL'S WINE MAN

EA: You’re the wine man at Rockliffe Hall. What can you tell us about the resort’s wine offering? 

DJ: I have created a uniform wine list for the Clubhouse and The Brasserie that showcase the different food offerings in both restaurants. This helps with continuity for the guest’s visit too as you can have a glass of wine at one place and then head for dinner at the other and still enjoy the same wine.

The offering in The Orangery is very different. This is the wine list where I showcase everything from the classics to special parcel wines, unearthed from small vineyards with marvellous quality and more often than not, that are exclusive to Rockliffe Hall.

MEET ROCKLIFFE HALL'S WINE MAN

EA: How can guests join you on the Rockliffe wine journey?

DJ: I can’t recommend strongly enough a visit to our fabulous wine cellar for an intimate tasting, surrounded by bottles of rare wines. After this tutored and relaxed tasting it is time to go up to The Orangery and indulge in the tasting menu by Richard Allen, with the accompaniment of my ‘weird and wonderful’ wine flight.

EA: We’re looking forward to the English Sparkling Wines Meet the Producer Wine Dinner with Ulrich Hoffman. What can we expect from the event?

DJ: You can expect to taste some extraordinary sparkling wines that even surprised me with their texture and flavours. And in Ulrich we have a fantastic host who will gently take us on a journey of discovery. That, paired with Richard’s special menu for the evening, pure heaven!

EA: Why are English sparkling wines so attractive in the current climate?

DJ: The whole wine industry in England has now become professional and renowned. Gone are the days of the happy-go-lucky way of doing wines. Our sparkling wine producers are now serious contenders to the Champagne region in terms of quality and diversity.

EA: Which foods can be perfectly paired with sparkling wines? 

DJ: I have to say, it’s all to do with the individual palate, but a bowl of home-grown strawberries is a good start. Or perhaps a nice pan fried sole with langoustines for a Blanc de Blanc. Grilled salmon with greens for the rosé, with buttered and grilled asparagus. 

EA: Your favourite wine region? 

DJ: Such a hard question! I have had to think long and hard about this one and have changed my mind several times to be honest, but in the end, I have to say (here comes my classic training though I think) Burgundy. This little region has a wonderful diversity of wines to offer, both on the red and the white side.

EA: Tell us about your best vineyard trip? 

DJ: It has to be my week with Catena Zapata in Mendoza, Argentina. It was summer and very hot; the company was fantastic. The large amount of new knowledge I came away with was staggering. And the wines… the wines we tried were exceptional. Then again, I am shortly embarking on a week’s journey into South Africa’s wine region, so I might change my mind.

EA: Which wine would you order from the Rockliffe menu? 

DJ: I would definitely go for any of the small parcel wines I have on offer. To discover a new wine/grape variety, is for me, absolutely fantastic. Like Luis Zeabra’s Xisto Ilimitardo from Douro in Portugal. Marvellous!

EA: What’s in your wine rack at home?

DJ: The wine rack at home is more like a short storage space. Not many bottles last a long time. All in the name of research, of course! I do have an Opus One and a 1970 Baron de Sigognac, that I won’t touch, yet.


Don’t miss Daniel’s Meet the Producer English Sparkling Wine Dinner, hosted by producer, Ulrich Hoffman of Hoffman & Rathbone. For more information and to book tickets, visit: rockliffehall.com.

Related Stories

  • LUXE LIFE: EMMA GAUDERN

    She has two young children aged 5 and 7 and an active Weimaraner who keeps her busy. Emma enjoys exploring the great outdoors with her family and dog, and...
  • WHAT’S ON THIS WEEK: 16-22 SEPTEMBER

    FOR MUSIC 22 SEPTEMBER Irish musician Hozier, successful for his triple platinum single ‘Take Me To Church’ is performing at the O2 City Hall this Sunday. The Grammy Award...
  • TOP SPORT: TOYOTA COROLLA

    Here’s a question for you all. If I asked you to name the world’s best-selling car, I’m sure you would think of maybe the VW Beetle, Ford Model T or...
  • UK GETAWAY: A PLACE IN THE PINES

    LOCATION >> Take a country track just off the A19 near Osmotherley, and windy roads will lead you to an unassuming car park, surrounded by rolling countryside and a...