It was a true homecoming celebration at Denver’s Governor’s Residence Gardens this past weekend, with a full roster of Broncos stars past and present and Colorado chefs on hand to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Sonoma’s Jordan Vineyards and Winery. Jordan founders and Colorado natives Tom and Sally Jordan lived in Denver when they hatched the idea to start their own winery in California; they signed the deed to their Sonoma property in May 1972, on the same day as the birth of their son John, who has run the Alexander Valley winery since 2007. The two-day charity event raised $120,000 for Clayton Early Learning’s health and wellness programs.
New Denver Broncos quarterback Russell Wilson and his wife, Ciara, headlined Jordan’s Big Bottle Squad parade on June 3, sporting a 6-liter bottle of 2012 Jordan Cabernet. Wilson’s teammate, outside linebacker Bradley Chubb, had an 18-liter bottle of 2018 Jordan Cabernet in tow, while more manageable magnums and 3-liter bottles were passed among the 250 guests. Broncos head coach Nathaniel Hackett and running back Javonte Williams were joined by retired greats Reggie Rivers, Steve Atwater and Randy Gradishar and, of course, birthday boy and Jordan winery owner John Jordan.
But this wasn't Jordan's first brush with the NFL: New Orleans Saints defensive end Cam Jordan is a longtime fan, and brought his family for a visit to the winery in July 2019.
The following night, guests at the Gather in the Garden dinner and auction were treated to dishes from a trio of Top Chef alums—Carrie Baird of Culinary Creative in Denver, Brother Luck of Four by Brother Luck in Colorado Springs and Justin Sutherland of Handsome Hog in Minnesota—and performances by all-female electric string quartet Spinphony. Jordan winemaker Maggie Kruse tackled the wine pairings, and the “celebrity sommeliers” during dinner service included many of the aforementioned Broncos along with former Denver Nuggets player and coach Bill Hanzlik and Littleton Mayor Kyle Schlachter.
The Denver event kicked off Jordan’s Social Impact Summer, a series of charity events supporting the John Jordan Foundation for disadvantaged youth and its nonprofit partners that will continue later this month in Nashville with country music star Jon Pardi and the Saints' Cam Jordan, and later this summer at the winery in Healdsburg.
Enjoy Unfiltered? The best of Unfiltered's round-up of drinks in pop culture can now be delivered straight to your inbox every other week! Sign up now to receive the Unfiltered e-mail newsletter, featuring the latest scoop on how wine intersects with film, TV, music, sports, politics and more.