Tuesday, August 30, 2011

J Vineyards & Winery Barrel Room Video!

J Vineyards & Winery Prepares the Barrel Room
for the Pinot Noir Varietal Wine Harvest!

Melissa Stackhouse, J Vineyards & Winery VP Winemaking

J Barrel Room YouTube Link:

Founded by Judy Jordan in 1986, J Vineyards & Winery is an independently owned Sonoma County winery.  The winery kicks off its 25th Anniversary celebration this year on Saturday, September 17, 2011.  To learn more, or to join the J Wine Club, go to www.jwine.com.

Monday, August 29, 2011

J Harvest News from our Winemaker, Melissa Stackhouse (8/29/11)!

Melissa Stackhouse, J Vineyards & Winery VP of Winemaking

The 2011 harvest is now underway for sparkling wine and I'm thrilled to be part of the J winemaking team. I’m also excited about becoming well-versed in the nuances of sparkling wine production.  At J, however, the future is all about varietal wine.

So far the weather has been steady and predictable. Just enough fog in the evening and early morning to moderate the pace of ripening, and just enough sun and heat during the day to move the sugar levels in the right direction.

A faint aroma of the first fermentations is now wafting through the cellar. The winemaking and vineyard teams are out in the vineyards monitoring the grapes, focused on the weather forecast to ensure our decision-making is tethered to sound information. The next couple of weeks will be very busy.

As for varietal
Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, we’re expecting to start picking for the Russian River Valley Pinot Noir in about two weeks, assuming the weather cooperates! Our Chardonnay destined for the Russian River Valley blend is expected to ripen by mid-September. 

The most magical thing about harvest is the twists and turns as we go through it.  We don't have a crystal ball to tell us what the weather will be like, or what sort of vintage this will be. A good friend mentioned once that if there was such a thing as a crystal ball, we'd be making crystal balls rather than wine.  My response to that was, maybe, but it wouldn't be as fun!

Founded by Judy Jordan in 1986, J Vineyards & Winery is an independently owned Sonoma County winery.  The winery kicks off its 25th Anniversary celebration this year on Saturday, September 17, 2011.  To learn more, or to join the J Wine Club, go to www.jwine.com.

Friday, August 26, 2011

J Vineyards & Winery Harvest Celebration Video!

Check out our J Vineyards & Winery Harvest Celebration YouTube video featuring Founder & President Judy Jordan blessing the grapes. Special bonus feature, the crowning of Melissa Stackhouse—Queen of Winemaking.

Melissa Stackhouse & Judy Jordan

J Harvest Celebration Video Link:

Friday, August 19, 2011

J Vineyards & Winery Begins Harvest on Monday, August 22, 2011!

Wineries prepare for harvest to begin next week

JOHN BURGESS/Press Democrat
John Erbe, a viticulturlist with J Vineyards & Winery, 
checks the sugar levels of pinot noir grapes on Thursday.
Erbe believes the Healdsburg winery will start the harvest on Monday morning.

There’s excitement in the air as winemakers across Sonoma County hurry through final preparations, or catch their last bit of rest, before the onslaught begins.

The North Coast grape harvest is expected to kick off next week, several weeks later than normal as a result of cool spring weather that slowed the maturation of the region’s $1 billion grape crop.

Melissa Stackhouse, Winemaker with J Vineyards & Winery

“I have the pre-harvest butterflies a little bit, and a general sense of hope that you have before harvest,” said Melissa Stackhouse, winemaker for J Vineyards & Winery of Healdsburg. “Because who knows, it could be really stellar. Harvest unfolds as we’re going through it, and that’s the nice mystery about it.”

In the wee hours of Monday morning, grape pickers will set out at J Vineyards to begin picking pinot noir and chardonnay grapes used to make sparkling wines.

The winery expects to harvest about 20 percent fewer grapes than normal this year, spokesman George Rose said. Rains in June simply knocked the flowers off the vine, so there were fewer berries in each cluster, he said.

“Our winemaking team definitely is gearing up for what they like to refer to as war,” Rose said. “It’s a very grueling process.”

Despite the cool temperatures, vineyards in Alexander Valley and Dry Creek Valley have accumulated about five or six more days of warm temperatures than the same time last year, said Nick Frey, president of the Sonoma County Winegrape Commission.

“We’re going to have the long hang time that winemakers want for flavor depth, but I think we’re in a better position than last year,” Frey said.

The lighter crop is making some grapes ripen faster on the vine, said Chris Bowen, vineyard manager for Hunter Farms in Sonoma Valley. With fewer grapes, the sugar produced by the leaves makes its way inside the grape faster, he said.

Bowen estimates Hunter Farms will start picking pinot noir grapes for sparkling wines in the middle or end of next week for Gloria Ferrer Caves & Vineyards.

“I’m hopeful that we don’t have another harvest like last year, because last year was just slam-bang. We had no letup,” Bowen said. “It would be nice if things went smoothly. They never do.”

Bowen is expecting to harvest about 25 percent fewer pinot noir grapes than an average year. Chardonnay grapes don’t look quite as bad, and some of his merlot and cabernet grapes look good, while others don’t.

To the west in the Russian River Valley, Iron Horse Vineyards is poised to start picking grapes for its sparkling wines in about 15 days, based on the sugar content of the grapes, winemaker David Munksgard estimated.

“It’s kind of like crystal ball-ing right now,” Munksgard said.

When J Vineyards starts picking, Munksgard can practically set a clock and assume Iron Horse’s grapes will be ready for picking within a week or two.

Iron Horse is racing to get bottling done now so it can hopefully give the crew a long weekend off before the madness of harvest begins.

“There’s all kinds of obstacles in your way, but at the end of the day, after all the agonizing and worry about the harvest, it’s suddenly here,” Rose said.

Copyright © 2011 PressDemocrat.com — All rights reserved. Restricted use only.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Featured Club J Members "Ingrid Korgemagi & Bob Lillie"


What Ingrid & Bob Have To Say About J Vineyards & Winery!

“Sharing a fun photo of my friend Tara and I enjoying J Brut Rosé this summer at Lake Cumberland, Kentucky. We visited J last May and did a very thorough tasting with Ron Clark (Mr. Suspenders) and enjoyed the wine and the company so much that we joined the Wine Club!  J was the most memorable of the trip, primarily because of Ron.  We are looking forward to coming out again for a visit to J!”

- Ingrid Korgemagi & Bob Lillie

Ingrid Korgemagi & Tara Sheff
Enjoying J Brut Rosé on Lake Cumberland, KY

J NV Brut Rosé 

How long have you been a J Club Member?

Ingrid & Bob: Since May 2010!

What do you like best about Club J?

Ingrid & Bob: Getting J Wine Club shipments sent to our friends in Ohio, Jim & Tara Sheff (also J Wine Club Members), as wines can’t be sent to Kentucky, and most J wines are typically not available here in Kentucky retailers, which is sadly most of the J product line.
J Vineyards Nicole's Pinot Noir

What is your favorite J Wine & Food Pairing?

 Ingrid & Bob:  My personal favorite is the Nicole's Vineyard Pinot Noir with basically anything. My husband Bob makes excellent homemade pizza and we'll pull out a bottle for pizza or to accent any other great meal with friends.  Being avid boaters, there can be a J Wine paired with appetizers before dinner. 

We have really enjoyed the Vin Gris with homemade Applewood smoked pork chops.

J Vineyards Vin Gris

Special Interests you would like to share about you?

Ingrid & Bob:  We are avid boaters, tech junkies, and consumers of good food and wine, both at home and on trips cross country.  It's not uncommon for us to go out with close friends and have a four hour dinner as the focus of our night out!

To inquire about becoming a Featured Club J Member, please contact Elisa Brennan at elisa@jwine.com, or visit our J Tasting Room and the Wine Specialists will be happy to obtain your feedback and photo.

We look forward to seeing you featured on the J Vineyards & Winery Facebook Fan Page!