J Vineyards & Winery
J Vineyards & Winery 2011 Harvest
Whether you are raising a glass every night around the family table or choosing wines for a special event, we hope our J Wines will enhance those special moments in your lives.The varietal and sparkling wines of J Vineyards & Winery are the result of the finest Russian River Valley cool-climate fruit combined with gentle, respectful winemaking. Our Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, and sparkling wines elevate any occasion with the essence of style.
J Vineyards & Winery is located in gorgeous Healdsburg, CA.
- Reduce, reuse and recycle is not just a slogan at J – we are dedicated to sustainable winemaking that encompasses a long-term sensitivity to the needs of the ecosystem.
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“Their hard work resulted in many wonderful meals, cooked with the fresh ingredients straight from the farm,” says Stackhouse. “I developed an appreciation for fresh food from the garden, and it ultimately led to agriculture as a career choice.”
After spending some time in New Zealand working on organic farms, Melissa decided to pursue grape growing and winemaking. She enrolled in the University of California at Davis, where in 1998 she earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Viticulture and Enology. While earning her degree, and in the years following, she worked at such prestigious wineries as Robert Mondavi, Peter Michael, Joseph Phelps Vineyards, Sterling Vineyards, and Alexander Valley Cellars.
In 2003, she moved to Sonoma County to pursue her interest in Pinot Noir by becoming the winemaker at La Crema. It was there that she took notice of Sonoma County’s Russian River Valley and its distinctive soils, numerous clonal selections, and cool-climate vineyards. Melissa remained winemaker at La Crema until 2010 when she was named Winemaster for all Pinot Noir production at Jackson Family Wines.
In her role at J Vineyards & Winery, Melissa builds upon existing programs in J's nine estate-owned vineyards. She also develops long-term relationships with key growers in the Russian River Valley.
“Each one of our vineyards has a unique personality,” she says. “We are digging deep into the soil to better understand and encourage the right expression of flavor for each estate vineyard. It is important to distinguish and separate these flavor profiles, whether it becomes a J varietal or sparkling wine.”
As a 25-year-old Stanford University graduate in Earth Sciences/Geology, Judy understood the land. Her belief that soil enriches the flavors of the fruit of the vine influenced her pursuit of unique terroir and “a sense of place” for growing wine grapes. This journey led her to Sonoma County’s Russian River Valley, known for cool climate grape growing and a great diversity of soils - perfect for Champagne method wines.
After a few years of making critically-acclaimed sparkling wines like her signature J Vintage Brut and J Late-Disgorged Vintage Brut, she came to the realization that her Russian River Valley vineyards would also be ideal for producing site-specific, varietal wines. Judy Jordan, always curious and innovating, launched a single vineyard Pinot Noir in 1994, charmingly named after her eldest child, Nicole. Not one to show sides, soon thereafter she released a second single-vineyard Pinot Noir, Robert Thomas.
With a continuing story that involves a flood as well as new vineyard purchases, the winery has thrived since that first Pinot Noir release. Today, we count estate-grown Russian River Valley Chardonnay and as well as single-vineyard Pinot Gris made from Cooper Vineyard, a location which dates back to 1997, among our wines.
The exploration of terroir in our nine, sustainably farmed estate vineyards, while over two decades in the making, has only just begun. The wide variety of alluvial soils found in our more than 200 acres in the Russian River Valley have been forming for millions of years and are continually revealing their nuances to us. In geologic terms, we are still in the embryonic stage and we look forward to more exploration vintage after vintage.
Please join us on our journey by visiting our modern tasting room in the J Visitor Center, located just south of Healdsburg, California. Opened in 1999, Judy Jordan wanted a place where guests could fully experience elegant wine and food pairings – the first program of its kind in Sonoma County. The Bubble Room, a multi-course culinary affair, has received accolades from innumerable media and customers and delights our guests with each menu. On your next visit to California wine country, please be sure to visit us here at J Vineyards and Winery for exceptional wine and generous hospitality.
Practices & Techniques
To achieve the best quality fruit, we employ sustainable farming techniques—including cover crops—to minimize the use of chemicals; night harvest when grapes are at their coolest; and hand-harvest into 1/4-ton bins after selecting only the most pristine fruit.
Our Director of Vineyards Operations manages all viticultural practices for J Vineyards & Winery and makes keys decisions about clones, rootstocks and trellising in our estate vineyards. The attention paid to every row, vine and grape cluster results in the purest expression of terroir. To show our devotion to the land and our farming practices, our vineyards have been “Certified Sustainable” through the California Winegrowers Alliance, a third-party environmental auditing partnership with the Wine Institute and several of our vineyards are taking steps towards Organic certification status.