Modus Operandi

Sonoma County region

A small, under-the-radar producer proving he can hang with the 'big guys' with his outstanding award-winning releases

From waiting tables in Dallas, Texas to making cult-status Napa Valley wines, Jason Moore has followed an unlikely path to achieve the dream he is living today. His ultra-boutique winery, Modus Operandi Cellars, Latin for “Method of Operation,” is based in St. Helena, Napa Valley, where he handcrafts a collection of small-lot wines from some of the most sought after vineyards in Napa and Sonoma. Since officially starting the winery in 2004, Jason Moore has proven he can hang with the ‘big guys,’ earning several 90+ ratings for his wines from top wine industry periodicals, being named one of the Top Five New Young Winemakers by Sommelier Journal, and having the honor of one of his wines served at a White House State Dinner. He is definitely a winemaker to keep your eye on.

Born and raised in Dallas, Texas, Jason Moore grew up waiting tables and working in fine dining restaurants where he was exposed to very high-end wines. The wine directors and sommeliers at these restaurants recognized Jason’s interest in wine and often invited him to taste with them. In Jason’s words, he had the opportunity to taste “some of the coolest wines on the planet,” including First Growth Bordeaux, Burgundies, and Napa cult Cabs, to name a few. As his palate developed, his interest in wine evolved into a passion.

After unsuccessfully trying his hand at a career in real estate, Jason’s wife encouraged him to follow his passion, and it was in this epiphany moment that Jason realized he wanted to become a winemaker - quite the lofty aspiration for a 24 year-old in Dallas, Texas with no roots in the industry, no family in California to help him out, and no money with which to do it. However, three weeks later, Jason and his wife were having a garage sale, selling everything they owned, and moving out to California to pursue the dream.

Jason honed his craft making wine in the garage of an elderly vineyard owner in Napa Valley and it proved to be the best ‘classroom’ he could have found his way into. He is a completely self-taught winemaker, supplemented only with UC Davis extension classes and the generous support of his winemaking mentors. By treading his own path and piecing together bits of knowledge from his mentors, Jason created his own ‘Method of Operation,’ which lead to the inspiration behind Modus Operandi. Since his first 200 cases were made in 2004, Modus Operandi has slowly and quietly grown into the 1,800-case winery it is today.

Modus Operandi wines are currently made at Brasswood Winery in St. Helena, a state-of-the-art production facility where a number of premium labels are made. When Jason isn’t making wines for Modus Operandi, he is offering his consulting winemaking services to select other Napa-based producers. We are happy to share this under-the-radar producer with our Platinum Plus! Wine Club members and hope you enjoy one of his latest achievements. Cheers!

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