May 2, 2016 | by Lisa Mattson
John Jordan has always encouraged employees and overnight guests to explore Jordan Estate’s 1,200 acres by foot. “My backyard is your backyard,” he likes to say.
Now, more wine and nature lovers can experience the rolling hills, pastures and breathtaking vistas of our Healdsburg winery estate with new hiking trails through the Jordan Vineyard Hike adventure in northern Sonoma County.
Hosted in spring, summer and fall, the three-hour vineyard hikes have already received national media attention in American Way, Alaska Beyond and San Jose Mercury News. The total number of vineyard hikes offered has increased to eight total, with both morning and afternoon hikes now available. [Updated 12/8/17 ]
This Healdsburg hiking excursion begins with house-made yogurt and granola at Vista Point, the highest hilltop of Jordan’s peaceful 1,200-acre ranch, boasting a sweeping panorama of vineyards, valleys and mountains called the “best view in Alexander Valley” by Fodor’s. After a chat with Ranch Manager Brent Young about the property and our precision farming approach, the group sets out into a hilltop Malbec vineyard with Guest Services managers as guides. (Sometimes I tag along too.) The group covers a little more than three miles of hills and valleys—advanced hikers might call it a beginner hike while other less active walkers may call it moderate—passing through meadows filled with different wildflowers and vineyards bursting with new leaves and shoots in anticipation of the fast-approaching flowering season of the grapevines.
A steep hike up to the top of one of our olive orchards is followed by a rest stop at Seven Oaks by Jordan Lake for a Jordan Estate Olive Oil tasting and water break. Hikers take a flat path past our lower lake to the chef’s prolific garden, also home to our chicken coop, new apiary and cattle pasture. The garden and animals are situated just below the winery, making it a convenient last stop on the trail. We reward ourselves with a picnic of local cheeses, charcuterie, terrines, house-cured olives, breads and citrus agua fresca, as well as a wine tasting of current vintages of Jordan Chardonnay and Jordan Cabernet Sauvignon, all served under an ancient blue oak tree on the Winery Chateau terrace.
Vineyard Hike dates and ticket sales are announced in Jordan’s monthly e-newsletter, so be sure to sign-up, as events sell out within minutes. All hiking dates for the year are announced in the January e-newsletter and posted on Jordan Winery’s events calendar in January. Hikes are limited to 12-18 guests to ensure the best experience.
“Come for the wine, stay for the hospitality” has been the motto for many guests who visit Jordan Estate. Now, fans of Jordan may very well come for the hiking and stay for the wine and food.