September 10, 2014 | by Todd Knoll
September is my favorite time of the year in the Jordan Estate garden. From heirloom tomatoes, chili peppers and Japanese eggplants to Kadota figs, Zebra squash and Charentais melons, practically every plant is covered with something colorful and delicious. It’s the perfect time to celebrate the produce we grow through our annual Harvest Lunches.
A culinary tradition at Jordan Winery since the 1980s, Harvest Lunches are a series of family-style feasts paired with Jordan wines and hosted weekdays during harvest. It’s an opportunity for our employees, grape growers and friends to gather and celebrate the bounty of Sonoma County during the most exciting time of the year: grape crush. Harvest Lunches begin this year on September 11 and conclude on October 17.
What began two decades ago as a simple tomato patch to supply our former chef with ingredients for Harvest Lunches has blossomed into one of the most diverse, prolific gardens of its size in Northern California. Nearly 100 different varieties of fruits and vegetables are now grown here with a thoughtful focus on diversity of seasonal maturity cycles, not just plants. Multiple varieties of the same plant are cultivated to achieve the longest possible growing season with the most flavorful produce, including more than 20 types of heirloom tomatoes, six types of raspberries, four strawberries, three figs and two persimmons. We believe the only way to truly be seasonal and local is to oversee our own food-growing program on our own land. Managing our own garden also allows us to harvest plant by plant for optimum ripeness.
If you happen to miss Harvest Lunches this year, you can also walk through the garden and experience its vivid tastes and smells fresh from the stalk with the new Estate Tour & Tasting and our Farm to Fork Culinary Journey with Hotel Healdsburg.