Jones Family Vineyards was started in 1996 when Sally and Rick Jones decided to make wine out of the grapes they were already growing near St. Helena, in Napa Valley. The couple had purchased a few acres of vineyards in 1992 as a retirement project, and were selling their grapes to Stags Leap. But the couple began producing their own wine and with the help of David Abreu, vineyard consultant, they had their first vintage in 1996. The estate is still run by Rick Jones and his daughters, and it produces Cabernet Sauvignon and Sauvignon Blanc. Thomas Rivers Brown is current winemaker. The boutique winery wins praise from reviewers, including Robert M. Parker Jr., who has written that Jones Family wines “have been consistently well made since the first vintage…”
Calistoga AVA is one of Napa Valley’s newer appellations, having been given appellation status in 2010. It is notable for its volcanic soil, which is unusual in the Napa Valley. Calistoga also experiences the greatest average 24-hour temperature swing of any Napa Valley AVAs, which Calistoga grape growers insist give the grapes time to “cool down” at night, making for better balanced wines. The 1,500 Calistoga vineyard acres are planted to Cabernet Sauvignon, Zinfandel, Syrah and Petite Sirah, along with smaller amounts of other varietals. Calistoga is at the northern end of Napa Valley, northwest of the Diamond District and St. Helena AVAs. Longtime winemaker Bo Barrett of Chateau Montelena, which is located in the Calistoga AVA, proposed the creation of the appellation.
One of the most widely grown grape varieties, it can be found in nearly every wine growing region. A cross between Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon Blanc. It’s a hardy vine that produces a full-bodied wine with high tannins and great aging potential.