J Vineyards and Winery began its 28th Annual Harvest with Pinot Meunier from Nicole’s Vineyard at 10 pm on July 30, 2014 one of the earliest harvests in memory. J Vineyards is generally one of the first wineries in Sonoma County to begin harvest due to the earlier harvest for sparkling wine grapes.
J Vineyards and Winery released a statement saying that, “The 2014 growing season is very similar to the 2013 season, but the 2014 harvest is tracking about five to seven days earlier than 2013 due to the recent hot weather in Russian River Valley. The yields look very balanced with beautiful, small-to -medium berry clusters on the vine. The J winemaking team foresees that this great crop will produce an outstanding 2014 vintage.”
The grapes arrived to their Healdsburg winery facility this morning where Founder Judy Jordan and Winemaker Melissa Stackhouse joined employees and media in toasting the 2014 Harvest with J Cuvée 20 and dedicating it to Kerry Manahan-Ehlow. Kerry was J’s VP of Global Sales for the last three years and passed away earlier this month. The harvest mantra will be “Keep Calm and Kerry On.”
Judy Jordan with Scott Zapotocky, new Director of Vineyard Operations announnced the acquistion of two new estate vineyards on the “True” Sonoma Coast near Annapolis. These are pinot noir vineyards and they are very excited about their ability to expand their pinot noir offerings. All of the Sonoma County pinotphiles feel the same way.
Judy and Melissa lead us down the red carpet to the J Bubble Room for an airing of the new J Vineyards and Winery terroir video on Geology versus Site which features a funny and fun-loving battle between Judy and Melissa on whether geology or site dominates. Judy passed out rocks as we entered the room, so it was pretty obvious she would come down on the geology side. I can’t wait for them to post this to their youtube site.
We adjorned to the veranda for a champagne bunch prepared by J Executive Chef Erik Johnson who is celebrating his one year anniversary at J Vineyards and Winery this month. J’s commitment to youth and our community was continued with a presentation of internships, mentorships, and scholarships. Judy closed with anniversary awards to many employees, some 12 and 15 year awards, showing what a dedicated team she has fostered.
Many of the photos in this article were taken by the J Winery Marketing staff and I thank them for the use of the photos.