J Ludlow Vineyard
Santa Ynez Valley AVA
The family wines have won great praise
This month’s Platinum Series Wine Club selection is a most unique winery that is located in the spectacular Santa Ynez Valley, arguably California’s hottest (in terms of popularity and demand) wine producing region. Located north northwest of Santa Barbara, Santa Ynez Valley is presently home to more than 120 wineries, many of which are boutique-style wineries similar to J Ludlow Vineyard.
J Ludlow Vineyard is owned and operated by Jane and Allan Jones, both of whom are from Great Britain. “We were searching for a home site and stumbled upon the property in Happy Canyon,” explained Jane Jones. “The place was formerly called Westerly Stud Ranch and was home to horses and other things. When we found out that the land was highly suitable to growing vineyards, my husband jumped at the chance.”
J Ludlow Vineyard first saw the light of day in 2008 with a tiny initial release of under 200 cases. It is Jane Jones’ hope that the fledgling winery will one day reach the 5,000 to 7,000 case level.
“I would never want to be any larger,” Jones added with a delightful British accent. “I don’t want us to lose our personal touch with our wines. I also want to stay involved, and by keeping the winery small, I can continue to do that.”
Both Jane and Allan Jones have highly successful business backgrounds to draw upon. Jane is a psychologist in the UK and owns a health care company there. The business deals with autism issues in children and requires some of her time be spent in England.
Allan Jones owns the largest coffee roasting company in the Middle East with his headquarters in the futuristic City of Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Allan Jones spends most of his time at the ranch and vineyard while traveling infrequently for his international coffee business. Additional vineyard development is planned to increase the company’s estate wine production.
Winemaker for J Ludlow Vineyard is veteran winemaker Alan Phillips. His four-decade resume includes stops like Monticello Vineyards, Corley Family Napa Valley, Byington Vineyard and Winery, Foley Estates Vineyard and Winery and Lincourt Vineyards, among a host of other properties. More than a hundred 90-plus scores have been attributed to Phillipps’ winemaking expertise during his career.
But, J Ludlow Vineyard is actually a truly family affair. Its wines are named after its principals, Jane, Kemsley and Hudson. J Ludlow’s Jane is named for co-owner Jane Jones, and Kemsley refers her husband Allan’s highly-respected title in Great Britain. There he is none other than Lord Kemsley. Hudson is named for Jane’s youngest son.
By the way, the name J Ludlow Vineyard is derived from the street where Allan Jones grew up near the River Taff in Cardiff, Wales, where the couple met and grew up.
Another unique aspect of the winery venture is the fact that Jane Jones reserves the right to approve the final blends of each wine produced. “I live by my mistakes,” she further clarified. “We usually throw a wine party when it comes time for the final decisions. Everyone has their say, but I get the last word.”
Jane Jones is quite pleased with the fact that her wines are constantly improving. She is also revved up with the prospect of a future concept that will debut sometime in the immediate future.
“We intend to initiate a wine and coffee operation into our J Ludlow Vineyard undertaking. It is a natural since all our companies are named J Ludlow. We feel the two (wine and coffee) appeal to the same type of consumer and we want to take advantage of that fact. I am presently preparing the business plan and will have it operational by next year,” she added.
J Ludlow Vineyard is also heavily involved in charitable enterprises. Its puzzle piece label on several of its wines is directly related to adolescent autism and is the international symbol for the neurodevelopmental disorder that affects at least 1 in 68 children in the United States. A portion of J Ludlow Vineyard’s profit goes directly to the autism cause.
Jane and Allan Jones are both fascinating figures that are a most welcome addition to the California wine community. They bring new insight and a fresh outlook to a business that is literally bursting at its seems. Their wines have won great praise since their inception and should continue to do so for the future. Their newly opened tasting facility in the town of Los Olivos is a window into the future of their company.
Jane and Allan Jones, owners
Dear Platinum Wine Club Members,
It is our pleasure to share our unique and exceptional 2008 Jane Merlot with you. J Ludlow Vineyard is a family owned winery nestled in the beautiful Santa Ynez Valley. Because we choose to remain small, our family is intimately involved in every step, carefully nurturing our unique wines from grape, to barrel, to bottle and finally to you.
Our wine making philosophy has always followed our belief that great wines, paired with delicious food and shared with family and friends alike, enriches and enhances life’s best moments. For us, fond memories go hand-in-hand with a wonderful bottle of wine. This is also why we chose the jigsaw puzzle piece as the symbol of our winery – because wine is the piece that connects the elements of a life well lived and makes the picture complete. The 2008 Jane Merlot was one of our first winemaking adventures. Stylized after the classic Bordeaux wines of Pomerol, France, we sought to create a rich and full flavored Merlot that would pair easily and age gracefully.
As we continue to develop our vineyard on our home at Westerly Stud Farm, located at the far eastern end of the Happy Canyon AVA, we look forward to creating many more vintages of Jane, and other varietals of wines always worthy of sharing.
Jane and Allan Jones