Vineyard in Alexander Valley

Alexander Valley

Located at the northern end of Sonoma County, Alexander Valley is a long, narrow wine-growing region defined by the Russian River winding through its west side and Mayacamas Mountains lining its eastern borders. The diversity of the terrain and its soils is fascinating for both vintners and scientists.

With 15,000 acres planted to grapevines but only about 40 wineries, Alexander Valley is a peaceful, rustic Sonoma wine region with fertile hills prized by winemakers. Alexander Valley’s warm climate, ideal soil chemistry and rolling hillside topography are best suited to Bordeaux grapes. The best cabernet sauvignon, merlot, petit verdot and malbec grapes thrive from the gentle benchland slopes to the hilltop mountain ridges, thanks to the valley’s inland locale and its array of soils rich in calcium, gravel, sand and clay.

Grand cru classé wines of Bordeaux were built around a rigorous classification system, and we believe new-world winemaking that honors our old-world peers should do the same. Our winegrowing philosophy guides us to use a diverse collection of exemplary vineyards—Jordan Estate hillside vineyard blocks and benchland and hillside family grower parcels, known as the “Côte de Jordan.”

Grapes on a vine with sun shining through
Jordan estate overview

Jordan Estate

When fully planted, Jordan Estate is approximately 120 acres of Bordeaux varieties under vine, divided into 20 individual blocks: roughly 88 acres of cabernet sauvignon, 24 acres of petit verdot, four acres of merlot and three acres of malbec. Using an extensive soil-mapping study as our guide, our vineyards are micro-farmed according to soil type, texture and water-holding capacity, and are sustainably certified with numerous green business certifications. A replant of all estate vineyards has been in progress since 2017.

View down a vineyard row at Jordan Estate

Côte de Jordan

We fondly refer to a clustered collection of our extraordinary grower vineyards as the “Côte de Jordan.” Situated in the center of the Alexander Valley appellation just east of Geyserville at the base of the Mayacamas Mountains, these 40 vineyard blocks dot the region’s coveted benchland and hillside slopes. Each vineyard has its distinct nuances, enhanced by well-drained soils and perfectly balanced minerals and nutrients. These factors allow the grapes to fully ripen at lower sugar levels, ensuring a food-friendly style of Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon. All Jordan grower vineyards are Sonoma Sustainable certified.

A vineyard at Jordan Estate

Russian River Valley

Located in the geographical heart of Sonoma County, Russian River Valley is sculpted by cooling fog from the Pacific Ocean near its western boundary. It is the largest of Sonoma County’s 18 wine appellations and where the top wineries go to source their cool-climate grapes.

The Russian River Valley earned its status as an American Viticultural Area (AVA) in 1983. It encompasses 150 square miles of bucolic pastures, orchards and townships with 15,000 acres under vine and nearly 80 wineries.

The coastal fog ebbs and flows through the Petaluma Wind Gap and the channel cut by the Russian River. The fog usually arrives in the evening, often dropping the temperature 35 to 40 degrees from its daytime high, then retreats to the ocean each morning. This natural air-conditioning allows the grapes to develop full flavor maturity over an extended growing season, sometimes up to 20 percent longer than neighboring Sonoma County wine regions. These weather patterns are ideal for cool-climate varieties, particularly chardonnay, affording grapes uncommon depth and richness while still maintaining bright, natural acidity.

Close up of white grapes

Rob Davis, our first winemaker, transitioned to sourcing chardonnay grapes from Alexander Valley in favor of grapes from the Russian River Valley in 2000. He sought to emulate the stone fruit flavors, vibrant acidity and minerality found in the best white Burgundies of Puligny-Montrachet and Meursault, and he never looked back. The Russian River’s distinct climate and its soils help us to craft a chardonnay that is more reminiscent of France than California.

Russian River Valley vineyards

The final blend of Jordan Chardonnay begins with roughly a dozen different vineyard blocks from five sites on the east side of the Russian River with gravelly, well-drained soils. We are also experimenting with new sites within the appellation—closer to the ocean—to further enhance our cool-climate style of wine. Vines range in age from three to 35 years and are planted to a variety of Dijon and UC-Davis clones. The exposed gravel deposits of these vineyards help give Jordan Chardonnay its elegance, minerality and lush, lingering finish. These Russian River Valley vineyards are situated just 15 miles southwest of the warmer, mountainous Alexander Valley where Jordan Estate is located. All Jordan Chardonnay grower vineyards are Sonoma Sustainable certified.

Thanks to Jordan’s long-term relationships with our extended family of growers and lengthy experience with many of the region’s vineyards, chardonnay grapes are grown precisely to our standards from vintage to vintage. Grower Relations Manager Dana Grande works closely with our growers to adapt every minute detail of the winegrowing process based on constant changes during each growing season.

You Might Also Enjoy