Wines have long been a specialty for Eddie Merlot’s since we first opened. You’ll find one of the most extensive wine lists anywhere at our restaurants. We enjoy learning about wine ourselves, and forge strong relationships with the wineries whose wine we serve.
One of those wines we enjoy and recommend to our customers is from Jordan Winery. This is a sophisticated company that’s great at telling its story, and does a wonderful job with its social media presence, including a blog that features videos about the company and the wine-making process. If you want to learn about wine, this is a great place to start.
The Jordan estate itself is right out of a tourism brochure for California wine country. This description is from their web site: The estate encompasses more than 1,500 acres of rolling hills, vineyards, oak trees, lakes, streams, olive groves, and organic gardens, as well as winery, hospitality and operations facilities. There are 223 acres of Bordeaux varieties under vine: 158 acres of Cabernet Sauvignon, 44 acres of Merlot and 21 acres of Petit Verdot.
Beginning in 1995, hillsides surrounding Jordan’s two lakes were planted with four different varieties of olive trees known for producing artisan olive oils. Jordan Extra Virgin Olive Oil is vintage dated, estate grown, hand labeled and available for purchase exclusively at the winery and online. We’re featuring Jordan on our blog this week and we encourage you to try their Chardonnay the next time you dine with us.
We sat down with Lisa Mattson, Communications Director for Jordan, recently to learn more about the company and its wine.
Tell us about Jordan Winery. What’s the company’s history?
“John Jordan is our current CEO. His parents fell in love with food in France, which drew them to California wine country. They signed the deed for the property the day John Jordan was born in 1972. In 1974, they were looking at the property trying to decide where to put the winery, and they looked around and saw the hillside on nearby property and thought it would be perfect. They’ve wanted Jordan to be a homage to hospitality and great food, and put it in the context of wine. They built the chateau with that in mind. The winery now has its third chef.”
What was the wine industry like in the 1970s when they started?
“In the U.S., about 80 percent of the wine consumed during that time was white. In the 1970s, red wine was all about the tannins. There was this trepidation about red wine, that if it was red and a U.S. product, it wouldn’t be good. But we made an elegant, soft wine that was ready to drink. In 1980, we released the 1976 vintage, and it was received with critical acclaim.”
What’s the company’s philosophy of wine?
“John likes to say we don’t look at wine as the main star of the show. It’s one element of the meal. It plays a supporting role.”
“Because it has a lower alcohol content, you can push this Chardonnay farther with food than you usually can with a Chardonnay. It works well with Asian influences, such as tiradito and miso crab, which is a light, raw fish dish. It also pairs well with chicken or pasta. The alcohol content matters because you don’t have the alcohol competing with the flavor of the food. You could definitely have it with pork. It’s a lovely wine for lobster. You don’t have to have that buttery Chardonnay to pair with lobster.”
We’re currently serving the 2008 vintage of Jordan Chardonnay. Tell us about that vintage.
“The grapes for our Chardonnay are grown in the Russian River Valley, and have lovely notes of apple. It has very bright fruits, which come from the grapes being grown in the cool climate of the Russian River Valley. It is a wine that makes you want to take another sip.”
When should we expect to see the 2009 vintage?
“The release from the winery is officially May 1, but it takes longer for it to work its way into the restaurants and retail locations.”
If you’d like to learn more about Jordan, we encourage you to sign up for e-mail updates or an RSS feed from their video blog. The blog covers different aspects of the wine-making process, including how to make a wine barrel, which is a great snapshot of life behind the scenes of the winery. You can find the video blog here: http://blog.jordanwinery.com/
You can also find them on Facebook here: www.facebook.com/jordanwinery
And of course, find Eddie Merlot’s on Facebook here: www.facebook.com/merlots