Topophilia Wine Company
Los Carneros AVA
An up-and-coming wine producer in Sonoma Valley, California, Jess Wade honors his love of the land with Topophilia Wine Company and its boutique collection of site-driven Pinot Noirs.
Topophilia, Greek for 'A love of place,' is a new small-production winery nestled in the Sonoma Valley of Northern California. The winery is the vision of owner/winemaker Jess Wade, who strives to bring a strong sense of place in every bottle of Topophila wine. Since the inaugural 2018 vintage, it has been Jess's goal to search out vineyards from unique and special regions of California, and to craft world-class wines that represent these places - and what better varietal to achieve this sense of place than the venerable Pinot Noir.
Jess Wade was born and raised in Sonoma County to a family of chefs. While a culinary upbringing may seem like a natural road to the world of winemaking, there is one childhood memory in particular that seemingly started it all. It was 1996, Jess was ten years old, and he was helping his friend's grandfather make homemade wine - assisting with everything from harvesting the fruit, to loading the heavy bins, filling the homemade concrete fermenter, and finally (the fun part), stomping the grapes. It was all about family and camaraderie, and it left a lasting impression on Jess Wade. It was the day he fell in love with wine and the enchanting process of winemaking.
Eleven years later, after briefly living in San Francisco and pursuing what he thought would be a career in banking, he realized the city life was not for him and it was time to get back to what he really loved. Jess then embarked on his second harvest, this time down at Rancho Sisquoc Winery in the Santa Maria Valley. Here, he was exposed to every aspect of the winemaking process and the memories of his first (childhood) harvest all came flooding back. His passion for winemaking was solidified and after just two weeks into that harvest, Jess knew this was truly the path for him.
Over the next several years, Jess was a sponge, soaking up everything he could from harvest jobs, restaurant work, occasional wine industry consulting, and spending as much time as possible both in the vineyard and in the cellar. He gained experience working at Sojourn Cellars and even traveled to New Zealand where he crafted Pinot Noir at Central Otago's Rockburn Winery. He also earned his degree in Oenology and Vineyard Technology at Napa Valley College. Jess had built up some solid experience and started consulting for a handful of vineyards on the side as well.
In 2018, Jess finally made some wine of his own, under the brand, 'Topophilia.' He only crafts Pinot Noir (and a Rosé of Pinot Noir) and the wines are made in extremely limited quantities (only about 400 cases annually).
Topophilia is a brand built on Jess's love of the land from which his grapes are grown, the people in the surrounding community, and the experiences that customers share with their loved ones over a bottle of wine. Jess shows this love of the land through his low-impact approach to farming and winemaking, utilizing organic and sustainable farming practices to create a healthy, balanced and bountiful ecosystem. In turn, this creates the highest quality fruit from which his wines are made. These practices continue into the cellar, where minimal intervention means he is bottling the purest expression of the vineyard site and all it has to offer. His winery is off to a fantastic start and we look forward to what the future holds.
We are happy to share one of Topophilia's award-winning Pinot Noirs with our wine club members and hope you enjoy! Cheers!