Last month, I was lucky enough to join a group of Leslie Sbrocco’s Thirsty Girls, as a part of the Morgan Braxton team, in the brand-new Estate Tour by Jordan Winery & Vineyards. In the heart of the Alexander Valley (Healdsburg, California to be specific) Jordan is one of the best-known wineries in the area, and has a reputation for their smooth Chardonnays and bold Cabernet Sauvignons.
Although the history of their grounds and main buildings date back to 1976, they are beginning a new estate tour, which has been tailored to showcase, not just their excellent wines; but also the rich history of the property, the grapes, and the family behind the label. We got to meet John Jordon, the current purveyor, at the beginning of our tour. Then, Leslie, the group & I were left in the capable hands of sommelier and tour guide, Sean.
We began with a continental breakfast, before hopping on the brand new Mercedes-Benz tour bus
Our first stop was the estate’s personal garden. It is here that we were given a mini-tour of this very sustainable and organic Sonoma Valley garden. Complete with herbs, vegetables of all kinds, and the flowers which help pollinate them, Chef Kitsa Knoll and her sous chef (her husband) explained how they use every part of the plant they can. (She frequently garnishes dishes with the edible flowers in the garden, for example.)
Our next stop was at the look-out area near the property’s very own bass lake. (As the story goes, this lake was one of the reasons the Jordan family bought the property, being the fishing enthusiasts that they are.) Here we had our first tasting – a Chardonnay and olive oil tasting. (Yes, Jordan does bottle their own olive oil, too – very rich and crisp!) The Chardonnays were paired with a delicious fruit and vegetable nigiri, freshly made by their resident chefs. We tasted the 2009 and the 2011 Chardonnays, which were both excellent. Not too buttery, more with hints of grapefruit and lemongrass.
On the way to our next destination, tour guide Sean stopped to show us the vines, themselves (and have a taste!). Giving a bit of the vines’ history, he explained that they grow in a very gravely, volcanic soil and they nurture it to stay that way. The idea, he said, is that you want to “make it as hard as possible for the grapes to grow.” This ensures a strong and healthy vine, and a grape that will grow on the vine until fruitful.
Next, we stopped at the winery’s Lookout Point. Here, their tasting pavilion is brand new, and we were actually the first tour ever to sit in their seats – talk about once-in-a-lifetime experiences! The lunch was served, along with two vintages of Chardonnay and two of the Cabernet Sauvignon. We were feasting and tasting – with Leslie giving us notes and telling us stories of her wine travels as well – a perfect “working” lunch!
To end the tour, we arrived back at the main building. The building which, after a trip to the “home country” as my grandparents would call it, in Europe, the Jordans had them design specifically with that same European architecture and flair.
It is the perfect backdrop for one of Alexander Valley’s most premier wines. Visit Jordan Winery & Vineyards when you are in the Sonoma Valley, in Healdsburg. With its rich history and supple and tasty wines, you will not regret it.
If you have visited Jordan Winery in Healdsburg California, let us know about your trip in the comments below!