Jean Edwards Cellars
Napa Valley AVA
Premium wines from some of California's most notable vineyards
The story behind Jean Edwards Cellars is not dissimilar from a number of small California wineries. The owners, John and Karen Troise (pronounced Tro-see) spent many, many vacations visiting and enjoying various California wine regions and became hooked on Napa Valley’s beauty and the ongoing ambiance of the wine industry. The New Jersey couple was so intrigued that they finally decided to do something about it.
“We first began in the late 1990’s by purchasing some grapes and having them sent to a small winery in New Jersey to process,” admitted Karen Troise during a recent interview. “It was a case of getting our feet wet and the wine we made was mostly for our personal consumption and to be able to give to our friends.”
Some seven years later, the Troises’ suddenly realized they possessed a good deal of wine, more than they could drink and give away. “We decided then to put a team together and enter the business for real. Jean Edwards Cellars became a reality and we began living our dream,” she continued.
Noted Winemaker Kian Tavakoli was hired and Jean Edwards Cellars (a combination of John and Karen’s middle names) was off and running. A decision was made to limit their operation’s production to Cabernet Sauvignon, the couple’s favorite varietal.
A chance e-mail from the Wine Spectator for a tasting sample led to an unexpected 92 Point rating, a fact that assured Jean Edwards Cellars’ perpetuation. “We sold our existing inventory over the next two weekends and haven’t stopped since then,” Karen Troise explained.
The winery has expanded slowly and currently produces some 650 cases annually. They have added new fruit sources and will soon release both a Malbec and Merlot offering, both with Napa Valley appellations. A new tasting room (called Wines on First, a tasting collective) has afforded Jean Edwards Cellars additional national exposure.
The Troises’ living dream is best summed up by their business philosophy. “The quality of wine in bottle, purity of fruit in the wines and the wine's overall expression must be a reflection of what nature gives us.”