The bookings for 2017, as of today, are much as they were at this time last year, so it would appear that Brexit and the weaker pound have made little difference to La Jarilla’s appeal, as far as my highly valued countrymen are concerned. The French are just leading in the booking stakes, with the Scandinavian countries in close pursuit and, casting my net further afield, I now have a booking from Kenya - the word is spreading!


The almond blossom this year didn’t appear at Jarilla until the second week in February, some five weeks after last year’s blossom, triggered no doubt by Nature’s better understanding of climatic change. The good news is that the increased prices of 2015 are still holding, a very welcome change to the preceding years, when the price was a third of what it is now.


The grapes were brought in earlier, the last week in September and have produced some promising wine that will be ready to drink from Easter onwards. I opened a bottle of the 2009 Signature vintage, the first wine produced at La Jarilla since the 1960s, and found it in very good health and most enjoyable. So from now on I will bottle more at the end of each season, if I am left any by my thirsty guests!



La Jarilla is now classified ecological/organic by the Junta de Andalucia/CERES.
Nº Registro 201699900290366 dated 04/02/2016 on almonds, olives and vines




This year started on a high with a most gracious & generous Spanish family bringing in the New Year with me at La Jarilla. The year we saw out had been a good one, with bookings up by almost 10% but still too quiet during, in my opinion, the best months of the year, April,May,June,September & October, the last two featuring the almond & grape harvests & wine making.   That is why I have posted the low season discounts.
Last spring I built a grass terrace beside the tennis court with an outdoor ping pong table, which has seen a lot of action & is just a few steps from the terrace bar at the Pool House.  In June, I set up an archery range on one of the new olive terraces, fifteen minutes walk from the houses. It has proved very popular, competitive &, with some, addictive !!.
This year I will be awarding a litre of house wine to anyone ( or parents of, if under aged ! ) who scores over 35 out of 50 at the 18 metre distance, two litres for a score over 40 & a litre a point over 45 !!. There will be an engraved cup, yet to be found, awarded to the guest with the highest score in 2015, which I will mail onto them in January 2016.  Many thanks to you all & for your kind comments in the Guest Book.


2013 ended quite literally with a bang with the first serious storm & torrential rain since March, just over 100 mm. fell in 22 hours, closely followed by gale force winds, gusting to 120 kms/hr, on Christmas day causing multiple power cuts. This resulted in a delightful return to the old fashioned Christmas of yesteryear, where the children were involved, by candlelight, with each other rather than with their electronic toys & T.V. - I didn't want to spoil it, so the backup generator was said to be out of action with some irreparable fault !!.

 The calm & dry autumn produced the best harvests since I started at La Jarilla, with a later than usual picking of prime quality grapes & producing almost twice as much as last year with some 2000 litres of 2 reds, a rosé & a white -  it's still too soon to comment on its quality but I'm sure it will be up to snuff. Over 3500 kilos of almonds were gathered & the good news is that this years' price has risen to just over 2 euros a kilo from the co-op buyers  - for many years it had been about 70 cents or less a kilo & it cost almost as much to harvest, as was paid for it !!. We were lucky with the olives because many of my neighbours had disappointing yields but I managed to collect & mill more than enough organic oil for this year & it's even better than it was last year !!.

Work on La Jarilla is finally finished, with the completion of the Patio Andaluz infront of my house. It is some 300 sq. ms. with a 3 metre high wall all around, connecting the corner of Bodega House with that of the laundry. It has an iron, wisteria clad, gazebo with a massive table, made from the eucalyptus trees that no longer dwarf the house, a short avenue of orange & lemon trees, lawns, river gravel paths & an old fashioned trough fountain, against the wall facing the house. It is a great sun trap & will be very useful for special occasions, by prior arrangement, such as shoot lunches, painting classes, drinks parties & any other celebrations such as birthdays, reunions, etc.

The Guardian with Sawday's