James Arthur Vineyards
James Arthur Vineyards produces a wide variety of award winning wines, all made from American cultivars and French hybrid grapes. Grown and produced here in Nebraska, the winery offers the finest table wines, from barrel-aged dry reds to sweet, crisp whites, delicious dessert wines, and everything in between. One of The winery’s latest additions, The St. Croix Room, is a meeting/party room overlooking both the St. Croix grapevines outside and the wine production area inside. This beautiful, sunny room features a stone fireplace, wine-tasting bar, catering kitchen, and French doors leading to a private deck. Underneath this versatile room lies JAV’s bottling line, where all the vintages are filled before finding their final resting place. The St. Croix room is the perfect place for your next all-office strategic planning meeting or that family anniversary party. It’s is always available for you, your family, friends and co-workers and provides multiple power outlets to help you with your audio-visual equipment needs. Join some of the area’s most successful businesses and plan your next business retreat to James Arthur Vineyards.
James Arthur Vineyards is about 10 miles from downtown Lincoln and about 30 minutes from West Omaha.
- Nebraska's Largest Winery.
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Average Bottle Price
As the number of vines grew, so did the idea of turning the family’s hobby into an actual business. After serious consideration and careful planning, James Arthur Vineyards was formally established in 1996, and officially opened the winery doors in September of 1997. With a major investment of the family’s time and effort now going toward the winery, they literally began to see the fruits of their labor.
Through hard work and tender, loving care, the vineyard has literally grown to the thousands of vines you see today, with a number of the varieties that have been successful in this region. The estate has also grown into the acquisition of new land and the addition of apples, pears and other fruit crops. James Arthur Vineyards is now the largest winery in Nebraska, producing wine from its estate vineyard, as well as contracted growers throughout the state, with its focus always on producing the highest quality Nebraska product.
Jim and Neenie Jeffers have many passions. Among them are their five children, 13 grandchildren and four great grandchildren.
Their latest is James Arthur Vineyards. It's their gift to Nebraskans and to the people who visit the Cornhusker state.
Jim, who previously owned Quality Pork International, a deli meat manufacturing plant in Omaha, found he couldn't stay retired. The cornerstone of his business philosophy has always been to provide a high-quality product and first-rate customer service.
That credo can be found throughout James Arthur Vineyards. Together, with their family, they founded the winery.
While the winery staff has grown, Jim and Neenie's influence remains. It can be seen in the friendly service guests receive to the quality product they provide.
For Jim and Neenie Jeffers, James Arthur Vineyards is merely an extension of their lives and loves.
Jim and Barb Ballard:
Jim Ballard had a hunch. The many customers of James Arthur Vineyards are glad he followed it.
Jim thought his father-in-law's farmland, situated north of Lincoln, Nebraska, was fertile ground for growing grapes.
With his father-in-law's blessing, Jim planted several grapevines with the hope that his hobby would someday produce fine homemade wine, and something to share with family and friends. It did, and Jim's hobby took a new twist.
James Arthur Vineyards opened five years later.
A former broadcast journalist and graduate of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln; Jim is JAV's winemaker and still helps with the winery's daily operations and special events. His goal is to produce award winning Nebraska wine while providing guests to James Arthur Vineyards with an experience that is educational, exciting and interesting.
Although she considers herself "retired," Barb Ballard stays plenty busy.
Top priority is raising the couple's three children, Benjamin, Beau and Edyn. Next comes managing the day-to-day operations of JAV as well as the winery's gift shop. She also coordinates the many special events JAV holds throughout the year and coordinates the tasting room. Not bad for being retired!
Barb graduated from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln with a degree in broadcast journalism. She first worked as a producer for a Lincoln television station then as a talent and casting agent in Omaha. Later, she worked as office manager for her father's meat packing plant.
Barb stopped working full-time when the Ballard's were expecting their second child. She came out of "retirement" when her parents started the winery. Her focus now -- as it always has been -- is family, friends and working with people. It's the perfect combination.
It seems like Laura Suellwold has been around JAV forever, but has only been with the winery since 2001. Laura serves as the JAV Tasting Room Manager, and is always there to greet customers with a warm smile and kind words. Her relationship with the Ballard and Jeffers families goes way back, as Laura and Barb Ballard grew up together while going to school in Crete, NE. The two became fast friends and still enjoy their time spent at the winery together.
Laura enjoys riding horses, baseball, cooking and spending time in the great outdoors with her husband and two sons. When you see Laura here at JAV, be sure to give her a kind hello - that is, if she doesn't give you one first!
Born and raised in the Davey, NE area; Josh Rockemann has been minutes away from the vineyard for as long as he can remember.
His first days at the vineyard began in the summer of 2000 as a part-time summer job that has since grown into much more. Today, Josh is JAV's Vineyard Manager, managing and maintaining the nearly 20 acres of vineyards here at JAV.
As a 2002 graduate of Waverly High School, Josh enjoyed sports year-round and always found time to slip away for a weekend pheasant hunt with his father. A few years later, hunting is one sport that he has not given up. Along with pruning in the winter Josh enjoys his time in the field. From November to January, he can also be found wandering across a CRP field looking for that perfect shot. Josh’s future plans are to graduate from college with a degree in viticulture from Southwest Missouri State.
Meet our newest employee, Mike Spiehs! Mike joined us in October in sales and distribution and will make sure all our customers in Omaha and Southeast/South Central Nebraska can always find their favorite JAV wines in local stores and restaurants.
He may be new, but Mike is no stranger to JAV and the Ballard and Jeffers families. Mike was born and raised in Grand Island and is a lifelong friend of our winemaker, Jim Ballard. Mike also helped out in the tasting room at JAV in the early years, pouring wine on the weekends and helping out with special events.
A graduate of UNL, Mike has spent most of his career in the insurance business as an adjuster before he joined JAV. His territory included a good portion of southeastern Nebraska, so he's familiar with the open road and small town life of that area. However, Omaha has been a whole new experience for Mike, as he is getting used to making his rounds in the big city.
No matter where he's at, Mike's approach is always the same—a friendly smile, good conversation and the chance to show off his newest passion, JAV wine. Mike now lives in Cortland, where he spends as much time as he can with his true passions – his twins Shandra and Jeanne, and the baby of the family Trina.
So, if you happen to see Mike out and about in the JAV van, tell him hello! He might even tell you a good story or two about his glory days!
Beau, Edyn and Benjamin Ballard:
Meet the next generation of winemakers!
Beau (left) and Benjamin (right) both spend many of their days at the winery helping out. Both play an important role on busy weekends helping out in the kitchen, and can often be seen helping their dad in the winemaking process or cleaning equipment. Their namesake is JAV’s 2 Brothers, a wonderful semi-sweet white wine made from the best of JAV’s free run juice.
Edyn (better known around the winery as Peach) loves to help her grandfather give tours, and can clean a tank or the crusher with the best of them. Of course, JAV’s award winning wine, Edyn’s Blush, is named in honor of the Ballard’s youngest.