April 1, 2014 | by Lisa Mattson

New legion of Jedi Masters will protect the Wine Republic against the enemies of fruit

HEALDSBURG, Calif. (April 1, 2014)–The first-ever Jedi Training Academy is set to break ground in Sonoma County wine country this spring in a remote corner of Alexander Valley, less than an hour’s drive from George Lucas’ famed Skywalker Ranch. The Academy will serve as the training ground for a new army of Jedi aimed at stopping an evil menace that has plagued California wine country for nearly two decades. Completion is expected by early 2015 with first classes beginning that summer.

“There’s been a disturbance in the Force since 1997,” said John Jordan, the 41-year-old CEO of Jordan Vineyard & Winery and a life-long collector of Star Wars Lego sets. “The rise of an empire where over-oaked, high-alcohol wines reign has gained great power. It’s as if half of Napa Valley is under the influence of the Sith. We must protect the balance in our wines—and restore balance to the Force of winemaking. The Academy will help us strike back against the enemies of fruit.”

These prime enemies of fruit—Darth Tannin and Oak Maul—have changed the face of California wine in less time than it takes an Ewok to smash an AT-ST with logs. “Our Jedi Master, Obi Wan Merlobi, has been on assignment in Bordeaux ever since Robert Parker gave 100-point scores to 19 wines from the 2009 vintage,” Jordan said. “He can’t help us in California. The Academy is our only hope.”

With nearly 1,200 acres of land and more than three-quarters dedicated to natural habitat, Jordan Estate offers an ideal, private location to master the Jedi Arts. The property’s golden hills and oak-filled ravines will be used for pod-racing and its upper lake transformed into a Dagobah system swamp-like obstacle course. A Jedi temple, flight simulator and Death Star “Tower of Tannin” are also being constructed.

Those interested in becoming Younglings must be at least 21 years of age and possess an aversion to oaky wines. Applications are now available at www.jeditraininginwinecountry.com. The cost is $10,000 for the 10-week course, which includes all training equipment, lodging, meals and blind wine tastings. The Academy also accepts Republic credit ingots and druggats as payment. Meals will include all-you-can-eat Wookiee cookies.

The first Younglings of the Academy will be ready to restore justice and peace in the Wine Republic by September 2015, just in time for harvest and just before the official release of Star Wars: Episode 7.

Although private, the Academy is fully compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990. “We accept students regardless of Midi-chlorian counts. It’s ok if you’re too short to be a Stormtrooper too,” Jordan said.

Lightsabers for this New Jedi Order will be crafted by Riedel Glas of Austria and come with a removable wine thief and built-in corkscrew. Commemorative replicas for fans will be sold by Wine Enthusiast, beginning in 2015.