Growing Conditions

Farming our vineyards sustainably goes beyond sowing cover crops, protecting watersheds and following other certification guidelines. We believe that grapevines grow best when they’re surrounded by woodlands and reservoirs filled with birds—not a monoculture of vineyard after vineyard. By maintaining large swaths of natural habitat around and between our 12 estate vineyard blocks, we encourage beneficial insects and other natural predators, which decreases the threat of harmful pests in the vineyards and garden.

This biodiversity of the estate ecosystem must be respected and nurtured year-round. That is why only 120 acres of grapevines are sparsely planted across the rolling hills of the 1,200-acre Jordan Estate, and more than three-quarters of the land has been left wild. It’s also why we support two lakes, which provide far more benefits to the farm than irrigation water, thanks to the fish and insects that keep the birds and bats nourished. We also encourage pollinator populations with both seasonal and year-round beekeeping and created pollinator sanctuaries across the property in 2021. Our commitment to biodiversity is what makes Jordan not only a special place to grow grapes, but a special place to visit.

- 11 vineyard blocks from five growers.

Despite the twists and turns of the season, from heavy rains to wildfires, the 2019 vintage will be remembered as a great year for Sonoma chardonnay. Here are five things that helped make 2019 such a terrific vintage for this noble grape.

Winter rainfall and cool temperatures delayed bud break into late March and early April, which put us on track for a normal start time for harvest—around mid-September rather than the August starts we experienced during the drought years. Rainfall in early May took us by surprise, but thanks to cool spring temperatures that pushed back flowering in many vineyards, the rain didn’t have a significant impact on yields. Average temperatures throughout the summer helped the grapes progress beautifully.

Because a heavy chardonnay crop had formed by June, our vineyard crew made an aggressive pass throughout the vineyards to drop any clusters that were lagging in maturity. This practice of thinning after fruit set is a sacrifice of quantity for flavor, allowing the vines to focus their energy on growing a smaller, more flavorful crop. In August during veraison, when the grapes start to turn color and soften, we went through each vineyard block again and dropped any clusters that were unevenly ripening and behind in maturity.

During August vineyard visits, we noticed that our Russian River Valley chardonnay was maturing significantly faster than our Alexander Valley reds. We always prefer to pick most of the chardonnay before the cabernet harvest begins, so we can pick and crush the chardonnay before dawn and turn our attention to tasting the juice and making barrel decisions. In 2019 we got lucky and all of our chardonnay vineyards were ready to pick at the same time, before the cabernet harvest kicked off.


September 12-October 5, 2019

The chardonnay grapes were so beautiful and pristine that minimal fining was needed, allowing the purity of the fruit to shine through. When we tasted the first press sample of cold, crisp juice with intense Fuji apple character, we knew 2019 was going to be a great year for Jordan Chardonnay.

Picking began on September 12 and we finished the vast majority of pressing in six consecutive nights. Fortunately, this was well before the Kincaide Fire started on October 23, so the 2019 chardonnay experienced no negative impacts.


- June 15-25, 2020
- Fined and filtered before bottling


Through our winemaking practices we attempt to achieve a balance among all components of a wine. The realization of this balance between fruit, acidity, tannin, and alcohol ensures both a wine of finesse and enduring elegance, as well as a thread of continuity in our style from vintage to vintage.

The 2019 Chardonnay is incredibly French inspired; it has the fruit profile of green apple, citrus blossom and lemon curd of many previous vintages, but what sets it apart is the mouthfeel. The natural acidity and beautiful minerality leave you salivating for more.

Double-sorting of grapes; many press cuts to preserve the free-run juice’s pure flavors.

Clusters destemmed and gently pressed at night to extract freshness and acidity while avoiding astringent phenolic character from the skins. Inoculated and fermented 13 days in 50% new French oak barrels and 50% in stainless steel tanks. Malolactic fermentation limited to 32% to ensure that aromas were not masked by a buttery component.

Six weeks of sur-lie aging (in both stainless steel and barrel) and bâttonage to bring a touch of creaminess to the mid-palate.


French oak barrels from six coopers were chosen based on grain tightness, low tannin potential and light toast levels, allowing for the purity of the fruit to shine.

5.5 months in 100% new French oak.


Vivid aromas of citrus blossom, white flowers, lemon curd and pears invite the first sip.


Flavors of kumquats, Gravenstein apples and Meyer lemon peel dance with a harmonious frame of creaminess, juicy acidity and oak barrel notes, making it very versatile at the dinner table. Hints of tangerine peel and subtle green apple laced in oak linger on the succulent finish. More expressive in its youth than previous vintages.

Food Pairing

Due to its crispness and citrus elements, the 2019 Jordan Chardonnay can be enjoyed as an aperitif and is also a versatile food pairing wine. Unlike many fuller-bodied Chardonnays, Jordan Chardonnay will not overpower salads or raw bar favorites, and it also creates a nice contrast of flavors with richer seafood, such as salmon or ahi tuna. The wine’s acidity and oak nuances can complement grilled chicken or roasted vegetable dishes and creamy pastas.