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Situated on a hillside behind the Winery Chateau, the Jordan garden is the heart of our culinary program. Executive Chef Todd Knoll’s inspiration for every Tour & Tasting hors d’oeuvre pairing and every Jordan Estate Rewards meal begins at this one-acre plot.
What began two decades ago as a simple tomato patch to supply our 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, eight varieties of melons, seven types of carrots, six 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.
Our Healdsburg winery garden not only serves as a starting point for our chef’s recipes, it’s also an experiment for what grows best in our terroir. Alexander Valley is blessed with a diversity of soils and microclimates, so growing trials occur constantly to determine which plants grow best in different rotations. We grow exotics that are not commercially viable for large farmers to plant and sell due to demand, such as Buddha’s hand citrus, white asparagus, wasabi greens and fraises de bois strawberries. Our chef’s philosophy also focuses on cultivating produce that requires meticulous care and is too delicate for typical transport, such as fava bean tendrils, microgreens and arugula blossoms. Heirlooms are favored to preserve local heritage, and nearly all produce is grown from seed or bare root. Ranch Manager Brent Young ensures the garden is farmed to the culinary staff’s specifications. Managing our own garden also allows us to harvest plant by plant for optimum ripeness.
Over the years, this sustainably farmed garden has doubled in size and a greenhouse built for both germination of produce and growing tropical plants. Added in 2013, the garden’s flowerbeds are filled with David Austin roses, Dahlias, Calla Lilies, succulents and other vibrantly colored blooms, which Director of Hospitality & Events Nitsa Knoll uses to personally design floral arrangements for guests to enjoy throughout the winery. More recently, an experimental berry patch, as well as an apiary with FlowHive inventions and Langstroth beehives, have been added, allowing us to make our own honey for recipes while exploring both innovative and traditional beekeeping.