Tom and Sally Jordan standing in front of a sign that says CHAMBERTIN

A bold beginning

Founders Tom and Sally Jordan were maverick pioneers with a unique vision. They wanted to be the first to create a Bordeaux-style California cabernet sauvignon that was approachable while young yet would age gracefully. Located in Sonoma County’s Alexander Valley, the home for their wine would be an extraordinary winery 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—making it one of the best winery visits in Sonoma County.

Jordan Winery Chateau during construction
Rob Davis and Andre Tchelistcheff standing in a vineyard at Jordan Winery

Building the Foundation

There was only one man who could help achieve the Jordans’ dream wine, André Tchelistcheff, the winemaker who’d crafted the best California cabernet sauvignon they’d ever tasted. As a consulting enologist, Tchelistcheff was instrumental in establishing Jordan’s Francophile style of winemaking and hired Rob Davis, who guided Jordan winemaking from the inaugural 1976 Jordan Cabernet Sauvignon and inaugural 1979 Jordan Chardonnay until his retirement in 2019. The continuity and commitment of the Jordan family, along with the tenure of only two winemakers since the winery’s inception, has led to the remarkable quality and consistency of Jordan wines for more than four decades.

Lined up wine barrels

Winemaking evolution

The Jordans started with a vision of creating a singular wine—Jordan Cabernet Sauvignon—but they quickly realized their only child needed a sibling, and Jordan Chardonnay was born. Both wines were created in the Bordeaux model of estate-grown grapes. Over the decades, our winemaker learned that both wines’ taste and ageability significantly benefited by shifting to the Burgundy model—making wines from a blend of grower vineyards. These vineyards, situated farther northeast toward the mountains for Cabernet Sauvignon and farther southwest toward the Pacific Coast for Chardonnay, have allowed Jordan wines to become an even stronger homage to their French inspiration.

Spanish moss hanging in a tree
Sunset in a field at Jordan Estate

Land conservation

The Jordans were enthralled with the natural beauty of Jordan Estate—so much so that they left the entire 1,200 acres wild for two decades, apart from the construction of the winery, their home and a second lake. When the phylloxera root louse devastated Northern California vineyards in the mid-1990s, including their grapevines planted on the Alexander Valley floor below the Winery Chateau, they thoughtfully planted Jordan Estate with a dozen small vineyard blocks, four parcels of olive trees and a chef’s garden. Buffer zones of open space were preserved around the agricultural sites, and mature trees were protected—long before sustainability and green business were common terms.

Person decanting Jordan Cabernet Sauvignon

Innovation and elevation

Under the guidance of second-generation vintner John Jordan since 2005, Jordan Vineyard & Winery continues to innovate and elevate through award-winning wines and hospitality. From advancements in grape sourcing, oak aging, precision farming, and conserving natural resources to diversifying agriculture and creating new visitor experiences at our Healdsburg winery, Jordan continues a relentless quest to improve with every vintage. A commitment to this tenet helped make Jordan one of the top cabernet sauvignon brands in California.

Learn More About Our History

Milestone Moments