My recent travels took me to Sonoma and Napa Valley this past weekend. While I was visiting Sonoma County, I had the privilege of being invited to Jordan Winery to preview their new Estate Tour & Tasting, opening to the public this week. The group invited to participate consisted of about ten wine, food, and travel bloggers. The purpose of this Estate Tour & Tasting is to showcase the breathtaking 1200 acre property and show that Jordan is not just a winery and tasting room but rather a journey for epicureans, wine lovers, and those who appreciate natural beauty.
The Estate Tour & Tasting lasts three hours but the time goes by so quickly with all that is involved. We arrived a few minutes early and were greeted outside of the Winery Chateau by our friend Lisa Mattson of Jordan Winery. The Winery Chateau is a beautiful chateau covered in ivy that makes you feel like you are transported in time to France. Outside the Chateau, fresh baked pastries and refreshing cucumber water were a welcome treat for the already warm morning. Our tour was going to make four stops along the beautiful drive along the property. We boarded an air-conditioned shuttle bus and wonderful food, wine, and scenery awaited us.
With camera’s and notepads in hand, along with much excitement, we were off to our first stop of the tour, Chef’s Garden. Right across from the garden, was a farm with livestock, chickens, and other farm animals. Jordan is working on branding its own beef from Angus to Wagyu. Just a few feet in front of the farm was the Chef’s Garden. The garden is approximately one acre in size and boasts an assortment of colorful fruits, vegetables, and herbs all of which are used in creating seasonal dishes by the Estate Executive chef, Todd Knoll, to be paired with the Jordan Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon. In the garden, you will also find a colorful assortment of seasonal flowers. Some of the produced we sampled on-site were tomatoes, figs, and raspberries. This is a true farm-t0-table experience.
After spending some time in the Chef’s Garden, we were back on the bus and off to our second stop on the Estate Tour & Tasting; Seven Oaks. Seven Oaks is a shaded oasis on the property and is named after the cluster of seven oak trees that surround it. The trees provide much needed shade on the warm days, magnificent views of the Jordan Lake and olive orchards, and a sense of tranquility. Seven Oaks also houses wildlife as well as a dock.
Jordan staff had our first wine and food pairing set up for us at Seven Oaks. We were presented with two dishes; Spiced garden escabeche with Gravenstein apple vinaigrette & wild fennel and Nigiri of seasonal fruit with Jordan Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Sonoma honey & citrus. The two dishes were paired with 2010 & 2011 Jordan Chardonnay Russian River Valley. Both dishes were bursting with color and a mecca of flavors. The two Chardonnays were slightly different in style. The 2010, was a fuller, richer wine, with a creamier texture and mouthfeel coming from the malolactic fermentation and Sur Lie aging process. The 2010 boasts tropical fruit, green apple, stone fruit, vanilla, spice, and toast with a nice balance and long finish. The 2011 Chardonnay is crisp, clean, and refreshing with predominant green apple, citrus, and stone fruit notes leading the way to nice minerality and vibrant acidity. Although both wines paired beautifully with each dish, I found the 2011 Chardonnay to pair the best with the spiced garden escabeche and the 2010 with the nigiri. We also sampled Jordan’s delicious extra virgin olive oil with assorted breads. Happily filled with good food and wine, we were off to our next stop; Creekside Landing.
Creekside Landing is another picturesque, tranquil setting on the Estate that is nestled in between Jordan’s vineyards. It is home to various species of wildlife and plants. The bridge in the Creekside Landing leads the way to the vineyards where 2013’s harvest would be underway very, very soon. For those who do not know, Jordan adopts sustainable practices in the vineyards. The two wines in production are their Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon. The Chardonnay uses 100% Chardonnay grapes and while the Cabernet Sauvignon is composed mostly of the Cabernet grape, it can also contain small amounts of Malbec, Petit Verdot, Merlot, or Cabernet Franc. The composition varies from vintage to vintage. A leisurely stroll in the vintage led to grape tasting and ideal opportunities for more pictures. A sampling of various grapes confirmed that harvest was just around the corner. After tasting Malbec and Petit Verdot, it was time to hop on the bus and head off to the fourth and final stop on the Estate Tour & Tasting; Vista Point.
Our fourth and final stop on the Estate Tour & Tasting took us all the way to the top of Jordan Estate’s highest hilltop, Vista Point. We were swept away by some of the most incredible views imaginable of mountains and several surrounding wine regions. This was my favorite stop of the tour.
In the middle of this hilltop was a beautiful gazebo that housed the next food and wine pairing for us. We sat down to a beautiful table with stemware and lovely wooden boxes filled with mouthwatering delights. Our two dishes were Miso-glazed Sonoma beef with Maitake mushrooms & braised endive and a Selection of Sonoma County & European artisanal cheeses. Both selections were paired with 2002 & 2009 Jordan Cabernet Sauvignon Alexander Valley. The Miso-glazed beef was filled with so many layers of flavor and textures and was complimented beautifully by the wines as was the selection of cheeses. On the table, there were also baskets of breads for dipping into individual size dishes of Jordan Extra Virgin Olive Oil.
The 2009 Jordan Cabernet Sauvignon Alexander valley is the current release for their Cabernets. The composition is 75% Cabernet Sauvignon, 19% Merlot, 5% Petit Verdot, and 1% Malbec. The aging process was 12 months in 77% French oak and 23% American oak. For the 2002 Jordan Cabernet Sauvignon Alexander Valley, the composition is 75% Cabernet Sauvignon, 23% Merlot, 1% Petit Verdot, and 1% Cabernet Franc. The 2002 also aged for 12 months in a combination of French and American oak barrels. Both vintages poured deep ruby colors in the glasses. Both offering juicy blue and black berry fruit notes, though more concentrated on the ’09. Typical vanilla, spice, oak, and baker’s chocolate were present in both. The 2002 was just starting to develop the more complex layers like leather, tobacco, cedar, and espresso while the predominant layers for the 2009 were the fruit and spice. Both provided lovely balance, firm tannic structure, and long finishes. I enjoyed both vintages but the 2002 was my favorite. The 2009 is still very young and has very long aging potential to develop the complex layers like the 2002.
After we were done wining and dining at Vista Point, our three hours somehow managed to quickly pass by and we were whisked back to the Winery Chateau to receive a parting gift from Lisa and say our goodbyes. This Estate Tour is sure to leave a lasting impression on all of us.
The Jordan Winery Estate Tour & Tasting was a phenomenal experiences and look into what the Estate has to offer in terms of a true wine, food, and scenic experience. This was the best executed, tour and tasting that I have ever been on. The staff at Jordan have left no stone unturned in putting together an unforgettable experience. As of today, the Estate Tour & Tasting is open to the public and there is one per day. The cost is $120 per person. If you find yourself in the Sonoma area or are thinking about visiting, I highly recommend booking this tour. It will provide you with an unforgettable experience in food, wine, and nature in one of Sonoma’s most prestigious Estates that is sure to be unlike anything you have experienced before in wine country.
Please visit this link to make reservations for this experience or for more information. The wines mentioned on this blog that are part of the tour can also be purchased on the website. Be sure to connect with Jordan on their Facebook and Twitter pages to keep up to date with winery news, events, and new releases.
A special thank you to Lisa and the staff at Jordan for inviting us and allowing us to experience this before the general public. I cannot wait to get back to Sonoma and pay Jordan another visit. Until the next time friends.
* I was invited as a guest of the winery to participate in the Estate Tour & Tasting. Thoughts represented on this blog are my own.