We’re big fans here at Exsus of Sonoma County, California’s delightful wine region and hotspot for outdoor activities. We got in touch with Lisa at Jordan Wine Estate to find out what makes Sonoma County such a great choice for a luxury California holiday, and came away dreaming up plans to relocate...
What is Jordan Estate all about?
Jordan Estate is an homage to the great wine estates of France and the timeless connection between food, wine and hospitality. This marriage is reflected in our focus on culinary hospitality and seated food & wine pairing experiences for guests. We welcome guests by appointment for three different wine tours and tastings with food pairings.
How did it come into being?
In the early 1970s, winery founders Tom and Sally Jordan were mavericks with a unique vision. They wanted to be the first to create a Bordeaux-style California Cabernet Sauvignon that was approachable while young yet aged gracefully. They chose Sonoma's Alexander Valley as the location — at a time when most of the valley’s land was planted to prunes and 80 percent of the wines consumed in America where white. The home for their Jordan wine would be an extraordinary chateau combining winemaking facilities, guest suites, and kitchen and dining areas under one roof. The couple set a standard for American wine quality and wine country hospitality — a top standard that is still held at Jordan today.
Tell us about the food...
Executive Chef Todd Knoll’s seasonal hors d’oeuvres are the focus of the tours and tastings. His philosophy revolves around freshness and purity of ingredients, incorporating counter-intuitive ingredient selections to devise dishes that showcase Jordan’s balanced wines. The silky fruit, bright acidity and lower alcohol found in Jordan wines allow the chef to push food and wine pairings, creating unexpected gastronomic delights. Individual dishes are playful with a nod to both traditional French and Asian cooking, yet crafted to remain true to the ingredients. His cooking style incorporates flavours from multiple continents, including North America, Asia and Europe, as well as the South Pacific. He was raised in Hawaii, and many of his dishes feature the fresh seafood and flavourful spices used throughout the islands.
Is there a particularly special time of year to visit Jordan Winery?
It’s beautiful in spring, summer and fall, though some people prefer fall because there are less tourists, making it easier to get an appointment at Jordan – and the autumnal colours are gorgeous.
Which wines does Sonoma County do best?
Due to the diversity of microclimates in Sonoma County, many different wine grapes do well in different corners of the region. Russian River and Sonoma Coast are best known for their silky Pinot Noirs and crisp Chardonnays, while the warmer inland Alexander Valley is Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot country. Dry Creek Valley is a lovely corridor climate for rustic Zinfandel. The list goes on…
What do you find makes Sonoma County so unique?
The diversity of not only the wine regions, but also the terrain and activities. You can go wine tasting and have a five-star dining experience, then go zip-lining in the redwoods and hiking on the coast the next day—all within an easy driving distance. On top of this Sonoma County has great bars, awesome breweries and distilleries, spas, and quaint towns which are great for shopping.
What will visitors take home with them after a holiday here?
A plan to figure out how to move here permanently!