April 28, 2012 | by Lisa Mattson

Nearly 250 local tastemakers, wine lovers and art aficionados turned out in downtown Dallas for two days of celebration in honor of Jordan Vineyard & Winery’s 40th anniversary, reveling in rare vintage tastings and an inventive art competition event awarding $8,000 in cash to local artists.
Jordan Winery 40th anniversary party at The Joule Hotel

4 on 4 Dallas Art Competition Exhibition

A family-owned winery well-known in Texas for its food-friendly Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon, Jordan kicked off its 40th birthday festivities in Texas with the 4 on 4 Dallas Art Competition, part of a coast-to-coast, four-city initiative to marry the distinct flavors of metropolitan cities with the essence of Jordan wines and Sonoma wine country. RISING Gallery on Jackson Street, owned by Bryan and Taber Wetz, hosted the Dallas-Fort Worth call to entries, culminating in a one-night-only public exhibition and Jordan wine tasting, which was hosted by D Magazine, and presented 20 stunning works of art that highlighted diverse painting techniques and talents—and featured distinctively Dallas elements, from the Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge and Reunion Tower to cowboy boots and horses. The event took place April 24 with approximately 150 guests in attendance—local Jordan wine fans, D subscribers, art aficionados, local tastemakers and the artists themselves. Guests sipped on 2009 Jordan Chardonnay and 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon paired with delicious hors d’oeuvres (coconut-crusted lobster tail skewers, Texas goat cheese truffles, beef kabobs, shaved tenderloin on crostini) by Doug Boster Catering. The panel of expert judges for the competition included Dawn Neufeld, a star on VH1’s “Football Housewives”; Peter Simek, arts editor for D Magazine; Susan Roth Romans, owner and curator at Ro2 Art; Veletta Lill, executive director of Dallas Arts District; Cris Worley, director of Cris Worley Fine Arts; and James Beard Award-nominated chef and restaurateur Kent Rathbun. The anticipation was palpable as the judges handed in their top three choices.

Guests admire the exhibition at Jordan Winery's 4 on 4 Dallas Art Competition Hosted by D Magazine at Rising Gallery

The grand award winner of the 4 on 4 Art Dallas was artist Todd Ford, an oil painting specialist whose style is similar to photorealism. Ford personally took his reference photo versus using stock photography. It took, “LOTS of trial and error with exposure and shutter speed,” Ford says. According to the artist, the “Jordan” tie-in is obvious; the “Dallas” tie-in is a little less so. “I included a portion of the Dallas skyline in the wine.” Ford won $5,000, and his work of art will be transformed into a limited-edition piece for Jordan’s loyal Dallas fan base.

First runner-up honors went to contemporary artist Douglas Winters, who considers his two great passions art and nature. “In this work, I endeavor to cultivate an intimate bond between Jordan Winery in Alexander Valley, California, and Dallas, Texas, by partnering natural and architectural details, color and definition of space, thus uniting the elements into an embracing relationship,” Winters says. “The composition displaces the typical chateau on the wine bottle with the skyline of Dallas, Texas.  The chateau is then transformed into the distinguished focal point of the work. This arrangement ties the symbiotic relationship together by incorporating the Jordan wine bottle with the chimney of the chateau, as if they were one.” Winters was presented a check in the amount of $2,000.

Artist Leighton Autrey took home the second-runner up prize of $1,000. Twenty-seven-year-old Autrey is a graffiti-based artist who was recruited to play Major League Baseball but his mother’s battle with skin cancer steered him toward an artistic passion closer to home. Autrey brought his urban technics within the undertones of his painting. For the competition, he chose to focus on a more poster-like composition and created a “WOW” effect with the size of his work, a 48”x 60” acrylic on canvas. His Dallas skyline was implemented into a “pouring of the wine effect” over his graffiti undertones in a hot pink, sophisticated, final masterpiece.

Patrons got to vote for their favorites as well. The People’s Choice went to Steve Hamilton, a 27-year-old artist who used an intricate spray paint and stencil technique to make a stunning black-and-white painting featuring quintessential cowboy boots and a bottle of Jordan Cabernet Sauvignon.

4 on 4 Dallas Art Competition Entries:

Debbie Klein

At the 4 on 4 Dallas Top 20 event, RISING Gallery worked with the artists to set a price of $950 for any work of art purchased the evening of the event. John Jordan and his staff, who said they were “blown away” by the talent in Dallas, personally purchased four paintings themselves. The remaining artwork from the show will be available for purchase at the event price through April 30. For more information, please email Bryan or Taber Wetz at info@risinggallery.com or call 214-559-4158.

40th Anniversary Retrospective Tasting & Luncheon

On April 25, 25 customers, distributors, media and friends retreated to The Joule Hotel penthouse suite for retrospective wine tasting of Jordan Cabernet Sauvignon hosted by Winemaker Rob Davis and CEO John Jordan. Davis, who has crafted every vintage of Jordan, engaged guests with his vivid descriptions of each vintage (inaugural 1976, 1981, 1998, 1999, 2002, a 2005 super blend never released to public, 2008)—most bottles pulled from John Jordan’s private cellar.

Jordan Cabernet Retrospective Tasting & Luncheon at Joule Hotel, Dallas

40th Anniversary Rooftop Party

The third and final component was an exclusive poolside cocktail party at the uber-chic Poule at The Joule, also held on April 25. Nearly 100 guests mingled as they sipped on Jordan wines, including a six-liter bottle of 1979 Jordan Cabernet, a three-liter bottle of the 2001 vintage and previews of the 2010 Jordan Chardonnay and 2008 Jordan Cabernet, which release nationally on May 1. Guests indulged in delectable hors d’oeuvres by Charlie Palmer at The Joule, such as salmon tartare, smoked short rib fritters, lamb meatballs and melon skewers, as well as an array of Sonoma cheeses selected by Jordan’s Executive Chef Todd Knoll. John Jordan and the Jordan staff greeted party-goers, which comprised Glazers Distributors management, restaurateurs, retailers, sommeliers, media, Jordan Estate Rewards members and local movers-and-shakers. In addition, the winning artists were recognized again and displayed their works for party guests.

Jordan Winery 40th anniversary party at The Joule Hotel

The grand finale of Jordan Winery’s two-month-long 40th anniversary celebration will be hosted at the winery in Healdsburg on June 2: Giving Back at Jordan, an unprecedented philanthropic event leveraging the Causes.com social giving platform and benefiting three Bay Area charities.

Don’t miss our other 40th anniversary celebration highlights from MiamiNew York and Los Angeles.