Jewell Box

Jewell Box: September 2018 Journey to Humboldt Joseph Jewell’s home may be in the esteemed Sonoma County, but its roots extend beyond the region to the north, to the lesser known, but equally as beautiful Humboldt County. Lauded as what may be “the next frontier for great California Pinot Noir,” Humboldt County offers a winegrowing region similar to Sonoma, producing cool-climate wines that rival those of its southern neighbor. Relatively overshadowed in the winemaking world by its California siblings, Humboldt County is a new region to many wine devotees with old region clout. Enjoying the shorter days and cooler temperatures of October, the flavor development in the grapes sourced from this area are on par with wines made in the most prestigious pinot noir growing areas of the world for a fraction of...

Jewell Box - August 2018 Reflecting on the 2011 Vintage: The Good, the Bad, and the Beautiful The 2011 vintage was seven years ago and while many harvests have come and gone since then, one thing stands true: farming grapes in 2011 had extreme challenges that we have not seen since. We had rain in late spring during bloom and in the early fall, during harvest. The summer heat was tempered, with very few heat spikes (that’s a good thing). With the exception of the rain in early Fall, the growing season was perfect for making beautiful wines that truly express the spirit of the vineyards. Here in California, when we get hot summers the wines tend to be much more full bodied and fruit forward. When we have cooler summers our wines tend to...

2012 Dry Creek Valley Grist Vineyard Zinfandel This wine could be exhibit one in an argument that site matters as much as vine age when it comes to growing great zinfandel.  The vines aren’t particu-larly old in the context of California zin. They were planted in 1974 on a hilltop that looks down on Dry Creek Valley on one site and toward the rugged, often impassable ridges of the Coast Range in the other. In 2012, the vineyard’s red volcanic soils nour-ished a wine with unmistakable purity: vivid and tart, with lifted hibiscus and sumac aromas drawn out by the delicate touch of winemakers Micah Wirth and Adrian Manspeaker.  Tasted over four days, this wine continued to evolve without flagging in the least. It builds toward a woodsy red-berry flavor that’s...

This month, our elegant Shiloh Hill Vineyard Chardonnay gets the spotlight. Co-Founder and Co-Winemaker Adrian Manspeaker shares the history of the Shiloh Hill Vineyards and celebrates the release of the 2012 vintage.   With the release of the 2012 Shiloh Hill Chardonnay, I am once again reflecting on Joseph Jewell’s past and the relationships which inspired us to produce a Chardonnay.   Some time after our garage winemaking days, during the summer of 2011, Micah and I were hosting a winemaker dinner at the amazing Scopa Restaurant in Healdsburg. We love these events because they provide an opportunity to showcase our wines and mingle with the patrons. During this particular dinner, we struck up a conversation with Les and Jo Lesniak, a couple found sitting at the bar enjoying our Sauvignon Blanc. We engaged...

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