A brother-sister collaboration in Napa Valley, JAX Vineyards takes a modern, simplistic winemaking approach to crafting their award-winning, terroir-driven wines.
JAX Vineyards has been in existence for more than two and a half decades and must be considered among Napa Valley’s highest-tiered wineries. The product of the brother-sister duo of Trent and Kimberly Jackson and operating partner Dan Parrott, JAX Vineyards has carved an imposing niche among the giants of Napa Valley’s heralded region.
The history of JAX Vineyards dates back to some thirty years ago when David Jackson purchased an exceptional dry-farmed vineyard above Calistoga in Napa Valley. His initial plan was to grow and sell the grapes while living a great life as a farmer, but his children, Trent and Kimberly, had bigger plans - “Why don’t we make a bit of wine for friends and family?”
Kimberly, who had just received her MBA from Vanderbilt University, embraced the idea of starting a family winery with a blend of tenacity and passion. She structured the business, branded the wine, and started making placements in high-quality restaurants on both coasts - all while receiving rave reviews from the wine industry press. She was also responsible for perhaps the most important decision ever made for the company - the hiring of third-generation winemaker Kirk Venge who is practically a legend in Napa Valley with a list of accomplishments that are hard to match (his father Nils is a Napa Valley winemaker icon as well). Kirk has been with JAX Vineyards since 2001 and has certainly played a huge role in the winery’s success story.
From the first release of just 100 cases, JAX has grown to produce roughly 2,500 cases annually, a figure that has remained steady for the past few years. The Jackson family has no plans to grow any larger, and continues to focus on their estate Cabernet Sauvignon grown at the Calistoga property in northern Napa Valley. They also source fruit from select vineyards in Petaluma Gap and Russian River Valley for their Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. Each of the wines are highly regarded and hard to get your hands on.
The tasting room for JAX Vineyards is provincial in style and located in the popular SoMa area of San Francisco. The “wine oasis,” as Kimberly describes it, features olive trees, 50-year-old vines from the Calistoga estate, and a fire pit that offers the Napa Valley experience to urban wine lovers.
It is a great pleasure to share one of JAX Vineyards’ latest highly-rated wines with our Platinum Wine Club members. Please enjoy!
Map of the area
Dear Platinum Wine Club Members,
The critics are over the moon about the 2014 Napa Valley vintage. Antonio Galloni called the year “exceptional” in his December 2016 report, while James Suckling praised the wines as “extremely attractive” and “bright and sophisticated.” For some of the most densely concentrated and opulent releases of the vintage, look to the Calistoga AVA, which benefits from the most extreme diurnal temperature variation in Napa Valley and beautifully rich volcanic soil.
In this vintage our winemaker Kirk Venge produced an absolutely stunning Cab off these valley floor vines earning a glowing 93-point review from Parker. “This is super and a great value,” Parker wrote, and we won’t argue. Kirk knows the Calistoga appellation well; it’s where he broke ground for his own winery, in 2010. It’s not hard to see why — Calistoga boasts a litany of superlatives that make winemakers giddy. It has the most extreme diurnal temperature shift in all of Napa Valley, often seeing temperature changes of upwards of 50 degrees between night and day, making for wines of incredible phenolic ripeness. It has the highest percentage of volcanic soil of any Napa Valley AVA, lending magnificent concentration. Its vineyards are the steepest in Napa and sit on the most geologically uniform bedrock. And the list goes on.
The Cabernet Sauvignon grapes used to make this wine are from our family’s vineyard in northern Calistoga. My father David Jackson purchased the vineyard in the early 90’s after 5 years of searching for his ideal terroir encompassing alluvial loam soil, dry farmed vineyards, and the elemental protection of our little valley. The JAX name represents an updated twist and memorable abbreviation of our family name.
We hope that you will enjoy this beautiful wine with your family and friends. To taste the rest of the JAX Vineyards wines come by our tasting room in the heart of San Francisco or come to one of our many tasting events. We provide a unique Napa Valley experience in the city that is not to be missed.
Kimberly Jackson Wickam,