Some wineries have histories that are more… what’s the word?… colorful than others.
A case in point: Jackse Winery in the Napa Valley town of St. Helena, which was founded in 1905 by an Austrian immigrant named Stephen Jackse.
During Prohibition, surreptitious winemaking continued at a number of estates, even though the law technically prohibited production for anything other than personal or religious use. Interestingly, Jackse was one of the few American vintners to be arrested for Prohibition violations.
But that didn’t stop his daughter, Josephine, from being crowned Miss Napa Valley in 1927, nor did the stress of the arrest do damage to Jackse’s health; he lived to be more than 100 years old.
The winery operated until 1951, and in succeeding years the facility was used as a foundry and a basket company. Its final use was for storage – about as far removed from its glamorous roots as one could imagine.
It had become another Napa Valley ghost winery.
Then in 2008, a trade organization, the Napa Valley Vintners, purchased the property. Within a few months, renovation work began. And in late January, the former Jackse Winery reopened as the new headquarters of the Napa Valley Vintners.
And this would be about the time the late Paul Harvey would say, “And now you know.. the rest of the story.”
To read a full account of the grand opening, check out this story that appeared in the St. Helena Star newspaper: http://www.sthelenastar.com/articles/2010/01/28/business/local/doc4b60fc12d04ab101202457.txt