Jordan Turns 35


Family-owned and operated Jordan Winery celebrated its 35th birthday at its Alexander Valley digs with a lot of great food and wine, and I was lucky enough to get in on the action.

Jordan has always put a stress on its wines being food-friendly, so it was no surprise that as soon as our first glass of wine was in hand—a 2005 chardonnay—a parade of plates started streaming out of the kitchen. First up, a gelee of Japanese cucumber topped with Transmontanus Rex (aka Idaho white sturgeon) caviar. Fast on its heels came little pillows of Peruvian scallop served ceviche-style with salty caps of osetra caviar. I had three helpings, they were so good.

Jordan Winery Scallop ceviche

After short speeches from CEO John Jordan and winemaker Rob Davis, who’s been with Jordan for 30-plus years, we continued to sample the handiwork of chef and Ritz-Carlton alum Todd Knoll. With two on-site organic vegetable gardens at his fingertips, chef Knoll is no doubt having fun in the kitchen. Paired with the 2002 chardonnay, magnum, his ahi tuna tartare came shrouded with shavings of matsutake mushrooms and pickled bok choy, the whole thing sitting in a pool of the lightest shiro miso. Next came cabernets from ’91 and ’99 matched up with buttery rich foie gras—a seared slab paired with apples along with foie gras torchon plopped on a fat, juicy fig.

ahi tuna tartare foie gras

The main attraction, tender venison with grilled endive and celeriac-infused mashed potatoes, married perfectly with the ’84 and ’85 cabs. Thanks to the stretch in my jeans, I soldiered on, tucking into the cheese plate paired with the ’78 and ’79 cabs. It was the dessert of wine-poached pear and vanilla bean ice cream that finally did me in; I was ready to slide under the table for a long snooze session.

venison wine and cheese

Visitors get a chance to try chef Knoll’s right-up-there-with-Gary-Danko-kinda food. Each tour of the winery ends with a special tasting. As well, Jordan holds consumer events, including a Christmas shindig and release parties where Knoll’s food plays a big part.

If you can’t make it up to the gorgeous vineyard, you can always enjoy Jordan’s wines at a bunch of different restaurants in the city including Salt House, A16, Jardiniere, Le Colonial and Gary Danko. And if you want to pick up a bottle, you'll find Jordan at The Jug Shop, Castro Wine and Ferry Building Wine Merchants.

Happy 35, Jordan.

Guest blogger Lisa Park is's executive editor.

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