J Vineyards & Winery

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
J Vineyards & Winery
J vineyards.jpg
LocationHealdsburg, California, USA
AppellationRussian River Valley
Founded1986 (1986)
First vintage1987
Key peopleJudy Jordan, Founder and President
Melissa Stackhouse, Vice President of Winemaking
Parent companyE&J Gallo
Known forRussian River Pinot noir and Brut Rosé
VarietalsPinot noir, Chardonnay, Cuvée 20, Brut Rosé, Pinot gris, Viognier, Vintage Brut, Vin gris, Pinotage, Dessert wine
Other productsPear Liqueur, Rattafia
TastingDaily from 11am - 5pm
Websitejwine.com, J Vineyards blog

J Vineyards & Winery is a California winery located in the Russian River Valley AVA of Sonoma County, California, owned and operated by E&J Gallo since 2015. J Vineyards & Winery includes nine distinct estate vineyards located on over 254 acres (1.03 km2), where Pinot noir, Chardonnay, and Pinot gris varietals flourish.[1] The vineyard is named after the founder, Judy Jordan.[2] When the estate was first founded in 1986 as a partnership between Jordan and her father, the emphasis was on producing sparkling wines. Today, the estate capitalizes on great conditions for cool climate grapes and produces high end sparklers as well as varietals.[3] J Vineyards is known for sparkling wine, a notable food and wine program, and pinot noir and pinot gris.[4][5]


Judy Jordan is the daughter of the Jordan Vineyard & Winery founder, Tom Jordan.[6] After graduating from Stanford University, Jordan worked in Geophysics at Western Geophysical Corporation in Denver, Colorado. When she returned to California to work for the family winery as a tour guide, she began to hone her skills in business, marketing, soils, and geology. Her background gives her the combined perspective of a Geologist as well as a Vintner.[7] In 1986, she chose to honor her heritage by establishing her own brand and winery, founding J Vineyards & Winery as a 50/50 partnership with her father to focus on crafting a singular sparkling wine bottling, J. The first few vintages were made at the Jordan facility. Later, in 1996, Tom and Judy Jordan purchased the former Piper Sonoma facility in Healdsburg in the heart of the Russian River Valley. Three years later, she opened the Visitor Center to host wine and food tasting. Judy took full ownership of J after several years and continued to operate it separately from Jordan. Today, J Vineyards & Winery is one of the largest estates in the Russian River Valley and is one of the destinations for wine tourists to experience Sonoma County wine tasting and wine and food pairings.[8]

Jordan sold J Vineyards & Winery to E&J Gallo corporation in April 2015; changes in management and winemaking occurred.[9] Judy Jordan purchased three vineyards a few months later as part of a non-profit foundation [10] but has made no announcements about plans to return to making wine.[11]

Vineyards and Viticulture[edit]

There are several vineyards at J Vineyards & Winery that are overseen by Viticulturist John Erbe.[12] The soil of the Russian River Valley AVA is diverse, and the climate is coastal with a long growing season perfect for Pinot noir and Chardonnay, a few of the varieties that are grown on the J Vineyards Estate.[13] Sustainability is a key practice at the vineyard where agricultural practices such as minimal intervention, cover crops, night harvest, and hand harvesting are employed to encourage the growth of the crops.[14][15][16] J Vineyards and Winery has nine vineyards in the Russian River Valley.

Aptly named because of its distinctive shape when seen from above, the Bow Tie Vineyard was bought and planted by J Vineyards & Winery in 2009. It is a 37.8 acre vineyard planted with Pinot noir and Chardonnay and located on the Russian River. The soil is a variety of silty clay loam and sandy loam: Arbuckle, Cortina, Yolo, and Zamora loam and silt.[17] Like the Bow Tie Vineyard, the Canfield Vineyard was bought and planted in 2009. Also known as the Sally Ann's Vineyard, named after Judy Jordan's mother, it is the coolest climate vineyard that J Vineyards & Winery owns.[18] It has 16.5 acres of Pinot noir vines. The cool ocean air that flows through the Petaluma Gap has a major impact on the fruit by producing a low yield but high quality grape. This property is one of J Vineyards & Winery's more "sophisticated" vineyards. As it was a former chicken farm, the J team extensively developed and prepared the property for the vines. The vineyard is planted in Steinbeck soil and Goldridge loam.[19]

Two of the vineyards are named after Judy Jordan's children: Nicole's Vineyard and the Robert Thomas Vineyard. On one of the warmest sites at the Southern end of the estate, Nicole's Vineyard is 45.8 acres. The reddish Arbuckle and Clough loam is planted with Pinot noir and a 3-acre plot of Pinot Meunier.[20] On the other hand, the Robert Thomas Vineyard is one of the coolest vineyards on the estate and comprises 47 acres of Pinot noir, featuring 7 clones, in Zamora loam.[21] Named after Judy Jordan's grandmother, Nonny's Vineyard is one of the larger vineyards at 70 acres of Pinot noir, 7 clones, in Yolo silt and other loam.[22] Adjacent to Nonny's Vineyard, the 20 acre River Road Vineyard is planted with 4 clones of Chardonnay.[23]

The smallest vineyard on the estate is the Teardrop Vineyard, a 1/2 acre plot in the shape of a teardrop. This is where 20 Pinot noir clones are developed for use in all the vineyards. It is J Vineyard & Winery's demonstration vineyard, located by the Visitor's Center.[24] The Cooper Vineyard is also one of J Vineyards & Winery's smaller vineyards at 2.5 acres and is adjacent to the Visitor Center. The soil is mostly Haire loam and is planted with two clones of Pinot gris: clones 146 and 152. Cooper Vineyard is named after an arborist and former employee of the company, Paul Cooper, who was "responsible for many of the trees on the estate."[25] On the Southern side of the winery lies the Backdoor Vineyard. Another of J Vineyards & Winery's smaller vineyards, it consists of 2.8 acres of Pinotage. First developed in South Africa, the Pinotage grape is essentially a cross between Pinot noir and Cinsault.[26] At J Vineyards & Winery, the vines are nourished by Haire and Zamora loam and trained on a vertical trellis system. To maximize the flavor development and increase the fruit's exposure to filtered sunlight, the vines' yield is manually limited. When ripe, the pinotage grapes are hand harvested and sorted.[27]

J Winemaking[edit]

In 2011, J Vineyards & Winery hired Melissa Stackhouse as VP of winemaking, following the departure of George Bursick. With a degree in Viticulture and Enology from the University of California and experience in the Russian River Valley AVA as well as organic farming, Melissa Stackhouse builds on existing varietal programs at the J Estate and leads the winemaking team.[28][29]

  • J Pinot noir
  • J Chardonnay
  • J Pinot gris
  • J Cuvée 20 [30]
  • J Vintage Brut
  • J Brut Rosé

J Specialty Wines

  • J Vin gris
  • J Pinotage[31]


  1. ^ "Wine & Spirits: Sonoma's J Vineyards and Winery". 6 April 2011.
  2. ^ Arnold, Jim; Larnis, Ingrid (2007). Wine Clubs of Sonoma County. Pelican Publishing. p. 118. ISBN 1589804325.
  3. ^ Harris, Marc (2011). Enjoying the Champagnes and Sparkling Wines of California. BookBrewer.
  4. ^ Cusick-Dickerson, Heidi H. (2005). Sonoma: The Ultimate Winery Guide Second Edition. Chronicle Books. pp. 100–101. ISBN 0811842002.
  5. ^ Narlock, Lori Lyn; Garfinkel, Nancy (2005). The Wine Lover's Guide to the Wine Country: The Best of Napa, Sonoma, and Mendocino. Chronicle Books. p. 209. ISBN 0811842428.
  6. ^ "Bubble Lady". The Press Democrad. 23 July 2011.
  7. ^ "Judy Jordan Biography".
  8. ^ "Sunset Review".
  9. ^ "E & J Gallo buying J Vineyards & Winery in Healdsburg". 2015-03-24. Retrieved 2016-06-23.
  10. ^ "Judy Jordan Creates a Vineyard Company to Help Underwrite Mentorship ..." www.winebusiness.com. Retrieved 2016-06-23.
  11. ^ "Judy Jordan, former owner of J Vineyards & Winery, purchases Oregon's Chehalem Mountain Vineyard". 2015-09-25. Retrieved 2016-06-23.
  12. ^ "J Vineyards & Winery Offers Indulgent Adventures in Wine & Food Pairing". Wine Blog. 28 July 2011.
  13. ^ "Climate and Geography".
  14. ^ "CCSW Certified".
  15. ^ "NorCal Wine".
  16. ^ "J Vineyard Practices".
  17. ^ "Vines and Wines: J Vineyards Expanding in Russian River Valley".
  18. ^ "J Vineyards Press Release 2009".
  19. ^ "Vines and Wines: J Vineyards Expanding in Russian River Valley".
  20. ^ "Nicole's Vineyard".
  21. ^ "Robert Thomas Vineyard".
  22. ^ "Nonny's Vineyard".
  23. ^ "River Road Vineyard".
  24. ^ "Teardrop Vineyard".
  25. ^ "Cooper Vineyard".
  26. ^ "Pinotage".
  27. ^ "2009 J Vineyards "Backdoor Vineyard" Pinotage" (PDF).
  28. ^ "Melissa Stackhouse Named Vice President of Winemaking at J Vineyards & Winery". Wine Business. April 29, 2011.
  29. ^ "Melissa Stackhouse Named VP of Winemaking at J Vineyards & Winery". PR Newswire. May 2, 2011.
  30. ^ Vaynerchuk, Gary (2008). Gary Vaynerchuk's 101 Wines: Guaranteed to Inspire, Delight, and Bring Thunder to Your World. Rodale Books. pp. 26–27. ISBN 1594868824.
  31. ^ "Cellar Tracker: 2008 J Vineyards & Winery Pinotage".

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 38°34′23″N 122°50′33″W / 38.57298°N 122.84262°W / 38.57298; -122.84262