Person working in vineyard under large tree at Jordan Winery
Glasses of Jordan Cabernet Sauvignon and Jordan Chardonnay

What sets us apart

At Jordan, we believe that winemaking is not a recipe. Achieving both harmony and continuity in winemaking style requires a relentless desire to find new ways to perfect our craft. It also demands a commitment to quality without compromise. Although we’ve focused on making just one white wine and one red wine since the 1970s, we believe every vintage should be better than the last, and we spare no expense in that pursuit.

That’s how we make beautiful wines every year, not just in the great years. Grapes that don’t meet our expectations of taste are sacrificed in the vineyard, or declassified and sold at the winery—there is only one bottling of Jordan every vintage, and it only includes the best fruit. Investments in research and technology are ongoing in the vineyards and the cellars. Paying top dollar for grapes, barrels, corks and winemaking equipment is central to the remarkable consistency of Jordan wines—as is taking care of our people. These tenets have helped us remain one of the top cabernet sauvignon brands in America for more than four decades.

Hand taking a sample of wine

The art of the blend

At its core, our winemaking philosophy of balance is centered around the art of blending. Like Aristotle, we believe that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. That’s why our wines are made from a blend of different grower and estate vineyards rather than a single vineyard, and our flagship cabernet sauvignon is always blended with merlot, petit verdot and malbec. Blending classic Bordeaux grape varieties allows us to achieve a velvety style that best captures each vintage’s personality along with the fruit complexity, elegance and silkiness for which Jordan Cabernet Sauvignon has come to be consistently known.

Winemaking techniques also emphasize the importance of blending. Hedonic tastings are conducted after fermentation, where the winemaking staff determines, purely by trusting their palates, which wines will comprise the Jordan Cabernet Sauvignon barrel blend—the foundation for our master blend that will be bottled. The “barrel blend” selection is created in our towering oak tanks—vessels often used in Europe but uncommon at American wineries—allowing the wine to breathe and develop a deeper complexity as the components harmonize. Our approach allows the wine to achieve even greater balance when aged in a blend of French oak barrels. A sharp focus is placed on using a judicious amount of new oak from different coopers, which keeps the tannins supple and helps retain the wine’s natural elegance and balance. After about 12 months of barrel aging, the Jordan barrel blend is reassessed to see if the oak aging helped to elevate potential lots to the starter position. Only the top lots are assembled for the master blend that goes into a bottle of Jordan Cabernet Sauvignon during summer bottling season. Vintage after vintage, no formulas are employed.

This artful blend of different Sonoma County vineyards, grape varieties, winemaking techniques, and barrels ensures every vintage of Jordan Cabernet Sauvignon maintains its hallmark elegance and consistent quality.


Landscape of river, fields and mountains at Jordan Winery

Location, location

We choose to grow our chardonnay grapes in Russian River Valley in western Sonoma County, where the cool climate, coastal fog and gravelly soils along the river allow us to emulate the crisp stone fruit, bright acidity and lingering minerality found in our inspiration wines—the great white wines of Burgundy’s Côte de Beaune region in France. 

Our Bordeaux variety grapes (cabernet sauvignon, merlot, petit verdot and malbec) are grown primarily in northeast Sonoma County’s Alexander Valley, where the warmer climate, noble mountains and rocky soils combine to create the ideal environment for growing silky red wines that honor the First Growth Bordeaux of France that inspired the Jordans to become vintners. The morning fog, diverse topography and well-draining soils of the region allow us to grow grapes that achieve ideal uniformity and ripeness at lower sugar levels than the industry standard—the foundation for crafting balanced wines with lower alcohols, which are food-friendly and approachable in their youth, yet age gracefully for decades. 

Close up of grape cluster

No compromise in the vineyard

Our first winemaker, who crafted Jordan wines from 1976 to 2019, always said that wines of greatness require the greatest sacrifice. We have been farming grapes in Alexander Valley since the planting of our first vineyard in 1972, and we’ve been working with our family of grape growers for almost as long. Our experiences with each vintage have taught us how to be nimble and constantly adapt to Mother Nature, who is always in the driver’s seat.

We watch the weather and are constantly adjusting the sustainable farming of the grapevines to help them grow a uniform and balanced crop. In some years, that means sacrificing grape clusters during the late spring fruit set, when the vines are carrying too many clusters to achieve intense fruit flavors. In other years, that means thinning clusters during summer veraison, when the grapes aren’t changing color evenly, which would lead to uneven ripeness and unbalanced flavors. Grapes may even get declassified and earmarked to be sold off just before or right after harvest if the flavor development isn’t as expected for our winemaking style. Most vintages require some sort of sacrifice to make a wine of greatness. Every year, we purchase about 10 percent more fruit than we will need, so there’s a cushion against quality variances. Because we pay our growers above industry standard, the only financial sacrifice is ours. We might make less wine in some vintages, but quality always comes before quantity at Jordan.

Edges of wine barrels

No compromise in the cellar

Our commitment to making iconic wines of balance year after year requires constant investments in equipment and quality control. State-of-the-art presses and judicious harvest scheduling best preserve the intense aromas and flavors of the freshly picked grapes.

Barrels are blind-tasted every year after one year of wine aging to ensure their oak still meets our standards and stylistic needs. Only the highest quality French barrels with tight oak grains and various toast levels are used. Jordan is fortunate to have access to the most expensive barrels crafted by Tonnellerie Nadalié in Bordeaux. The Nadalié family has been making magnificent barrels for us since our inaugural 1976 vintage, and over the years, we’ve become the top global buyer for their best barriques. Barrels of superior quality are known for their subtle flavor, which is essential for wines like Jordan that strive for balance rather than prominence in tannin.

No compromise also means that our winemaker must constantly taste the young wines with an eye toward sacrificing quantity for quality. Vineyard blocks are kept separate during primary fermentation, allowing the winemaker to taste each potential component and begin to identify possible stars for the final blend. Wines are given classification ranks, and only the best survive. If mediocre tanks and barrels of wines present themselves in tastings during fermentation or before or after barrel aging, they are declassified and sold. Only the best lots earn their place inside a bottle of Jordan—which means the bottling process is second only to crush as the most critical step in winemaking. That is why Jordan only purchases the highest quality wine corks available worldwide, which cost three times the industry average. For Jordan Cabernet Sauvignon, the top 3 percent quality level of natural corks are used, as well as guaranteed TCA-free natural corks, which are currently available in limited quantities. Strict quality testing of corks occurs at the manufacturer in Portugal but continues in our laboratory, ensuring Jordan uses only the best of the best corks. This control measure is so rigorous that typically only 20 percent of the original 3 percent of corks actually earn their way into a bottle of Jordan. For Jordan Chardonnay, a sustainable technical cork, which is made of natural cork and beeswax, has been used since the 2019 vintage due to its excellent performance in multi-year experiments and its guarantee of no TCA. Our recent investment in a new bottling line that utilizes the latest technology further ensures that every vintage of Jordan bottled smells and tastes as beautiful as it did in barrel.

These are just a few of the important quality queues in our winemaking process.

Person enjoying salmon dish with Jordan Cabernet Sauvignon and Jordan Chardonnay
Hand pouring Jordan Cabernet Sauvignon at table

Food comes first

We humans live by our senses, and wine stimulates them. When wine is at the dinner table, all senses are alive. We smell the butter, oregano and thyme of a dish, and we hear the “pop” of a wine cork. We start to anticipate the wine’s scents, its taste before and after each bite. The majority of all wine is consumed with food; take that away, and half the pleasure is missing. Balanced wines are more likely to be compatible with food than over-extracted, high-alcohol wines. While many winemakers have followed the trend of making bigger, more powerful wines to garner scores from critics, Jordan has remained committed to a timeless style of elegant wine renowned by chefs, sommeliers and consumers alike for its food pairing affinity.

a deeper dive

Wine cork shaped holes in branch

10 Fun and Interesting Facts About Jordan Wine Corks That Might Surprise You

Jordan Estate Vineyards in Alexander Valley

A Fresh Start: Inside the Replant of all Jordan Estate Vineyards in Alexander Valley

Lined up wine barrels

Why Jordan Cabernet Sauvignon Moved to 100 Percent French Oak after 40 Years