Those who seek the ultimate luxury wine experience need look no further than J Vineyards & Winery’s new “Essence Tasting,” which launched on August 30 at the winery in the heart of Sonoma County’s Russian River Valley.
J has added a new tier to its already exceptional food and wine experience. Blending together a seven-course wine and food pairing, vineyard tour, wine education and refined hospitality, J’s multi-sensory culinary experience is the piece de resistance of wine country style.
Epitomizing J’s affinity with elegance and luxury, the Essence Tasting is an exclusive experience offered each Thursday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., with a maximum number of eights guests per week. The cost is $200 per person, including transportation to one of their estate vineyards and an exclusive private hosting in their newly remodeled Bubble Room. Reservations must be made at least two weeks in advance by calling 707-431-5430.
“At J, we’ve always believed that wine and food should be enjoyed together, and continually strive to stay ahead of the curve by providing each guest a unique wine country experience through signature tastings at our tasting bar, the Bubble Room and our seasonal outdoor terrace,” said J owner Judy Jordan. “With our new Essence Tasting, guests will have an unparalleled experience that takes them from the vineyard to the table, where all of their senses will be aroused.”
Guests begin the day at the J Vineyards & Winery Visitor Center with a tour of Nicole’s Vineyard – one of J’s eight estate vineyards – located on an exquisite hilltop property that is the foundation for J’s dedication to Pinot Noir. While sipping on a glass of J’s elegant Nicole’s Vineyard Pinot Noir in the vineyard, a wine specialist will discuss the beauty and uniqueness of the Russian River Valley and the reasons J focuses entirely on this cool-climate region for the production of Vintage Brut, Chardonnay, Pinot Gris and Pinot Noir.
Upon returning to the winery, guests are led into the newly remodeled Bubble Room, where J Executive Chef Mark E. Caldwell presents a seven-course tasting menu paired with J’s wines, rivaling the experience of top fine dining establishments.
For Kevin Burton, J’s Retail Operations Director, the Essence Tasting is the apex of his vision for offering a world-class food and wine pairing unlike any other.
“Offering guests a refined, elegant and unique experience at J is of utmost importance to us. The Essence Tasting is a testament of our dedication to upholding the highest standards for hospitality in the Russian River Valley wine country,” said Burton.
The Essence Tasting menu will change seasonally, beginning with this summer menu:
Kumamoto Oyster, Osetra Caviar
J Vintage Brut
Summer Artichoke Bisque
J Pinot Gris, Russian River Valley
Caramelized Day Boat Scallop, Frisee, Micro Greens, Orange Saffron Reduction
J Chardonnay, Russian River Valley
(Refresh) J Rose Sorbet
Porcini Mushroom Crusted Noisette of Lamb, Baby Leek-Yukon Gold Potato Puree, Haricot Vert, Pinot Noir Reduction
J Pinot Noir, Robert Thomas Vineyard: J Pinot Noir, Nicole’s Vineyard
Global Artisan Cheeses
J Chardonnay, Russian River Valley
Pistachio Ice Cream, Skipstone Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Fleur de Sel Meiwa Kumquat Panachee, White Chocolate Sucre, Summer Fruit
J Brut Rose; J Ratafia
In addition to the Essence Tasting, the J Visitor Center has a trio of tastings available:
Signature Tasting Bar – J wines are served in flights of four, and each is paired to a specific selection of sumptuous hors d’oeuvres. The combinations by Chef Caldwell are designed to create a delicious play of flavors and textures to complement J’s line of still and sparkling wines. Tasting Room flights are $25 per person and all begin with J’s signature bubbly.
Bubble Room – The Bubble Room opened in 2004 to offer guests older vintages and small-production wines that are available only at the winery. The Bubble Room provides a more luxurious setting with seating and table service. Bubble Room flights are $55 per person, and feature enticing seasonal menus such as the “Indulgence Flight,” a pairing of four sparkling wines with a selection of Tsar Nicoulai caviars, or a flight of four Russian River Pinot Noirs with braised short ribs and soft shell crab tempura. The Bubble Room is open Friday through Monday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Reservations are strongly recommended: 707-431-5430.
The Terrace: Beginning each spring, visitors may enjoy an outdoor wine and food experience on the J Terrace. Chef Caldwell matches J’s signature sparkling wines and classic Russian River varietals with an epicurean presentation of cheeses, pates and cured meats from local farms, including Pugs Leap Farm, Bellwether Farms and Cowgirl Creamery. The J Terrace tasting menu is $35 per person, and reservations are not required. The J Terrace reopened on May 1, and hours are Friday through Monday, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Tours of J Vineyards & Winery are offered daily at 11 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. Tours are by appointment and focus on the art of sparkling winemaking in the mÃ©thode champenoise facility.
For assistance in planning a visit to J Vineyards & Winery, call the J Visitor Center at 707-431-3646.