Founded in 1986 by Judy Jordan, daughter of the owner of Jordan Vineyard & Winery in Sonoma County, J originally produced only sparkling wines but has recently expanded into still Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Gris bottlings.
In 1996, J bought the former Piper Sonoma vineyards and winery in Healdsburg, which it has been adapting for still-wine production. Construction on the winery, which includes the addition of the tasting room, began last spring and is expected to wrap up by mid-fall. "It's a beautiful winery; it just needed a little updating," said communications manger Robin Oden.
Until the purchase of the Piper facilities, J used its East Side Ranch, a large barn on its vineyard land and also made its wine "out of the back door of my father's winer," as Judy Jordan put it.
This summer, Judy bought out her father Tom Jordan, who originally held a 20 percent share in J, and she is now the sole owner of the company.
J has expanded its lineup with national releases of three bottlings that were previously available only in small quantities: the single-vineyard Pinot Noir Nicole's Vineyard 1996, the estate-bottled Pinot Noir Russian River Valley 1997 and a Pinot Gris 1998. Winemaker Oded Shakked has more to come, with plans to add a sparkling rosi, more single-vineyard Pinot Noirs and a fortified dessert wine. At first, these wines will be made in small quantities available only at the winery.
The tasting room is expected to open on Oct. 20. Visitors will be welcome throughout the year from Wednesday through Sunday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., with tours by appointment. For more information, call (707) 431-5400.
For past news on J:
Sips & Tips | Wine & Healthy Living
Video Theater | Collecting & Auctions