La Jota Vineyard Description
Nestled in the Howell Mountain American Viticultural Area (AVA) in California, La Jota Vineyard stands as a testament to the rich wine heritage of the region. This prestigious winery, renowned for its La Jota Howell Mountain and La Jota Vineyard Howell Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon, has been a beacon of viticultural excellence since its establishment.
La Jota Vineyard’s roots can be traced back to 1898, when Frederick Hess founded the vineyard and winery. It derived its name from the historic 1843 Rancho La Jota Mexican land grant. The winery quickly made a name for itself, with its wines garnering international acclaim, notably at prestigious events like the Paris Exposition and the World’s Fair in the early 20th Century.
The location of La Jota is both picturesque and strategically chosen for viticulture. Perched on the rugged terrain of Howell Mountain, the vineyards benefit from a unique microclimate and rich volcanic soil, contributing to the distinctive character of the La Jota wine. This area is celebrated for producing wines with intense flavors and deep complexity.
After a period of dormancy during Prohibition, the winery and portions of the La Jota land were revitalized in 1975 by Bill Smith, marking the beginning of the modern La Jota Vineyard Company. In 2003, La Jota entered a new chapter under the ownership of Jackson Family Wines, known globally for the Kendall-Jackson brand.
The estate encompasses approximately 11 hectares (28 acres) of vineyards. These vineyards are strategically distributed across three distinct areas: the Hill Vineyard and Winery Block Vineyard, both established in the 1970s, and the more expansive Meadow Vineyard, first planted in the 1990s. This distribution allows for a diversity of terroirs, enriching the complexity of their wines.
La Jota’s farming practices are a blend of tradition and innovation, focusing on sustainable methods that respect the environment while optimizing the quality of the grapes. This approach is evident in their meticulous vineyard management, which ensures that each varietal is grown under optimal conditions.
The hallmark of La Jota is its exquisite range of wines, primarily focusing on varietals that thrive in the Howell Mountain terroir. The La Jota Cabernet Franc (la jota cab franc) , La Jota Merlot, and La Jota Chardonnay are among the stellar offerings that showcase the unique characteristics of their respective grapes. However, it is the La Jota Cabernet Sauvignon, especially the La Jota Howell Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon, that truly encapsulates the essence of the winery. These wines are known for their robust flavors, intricate aromas, and the perfect balance between elegance and intensity.
The La Jota Cabernet Franc offers a different yet equally compelling profile. Known for its aromatic complexity and refined tannins, it represents another facet of the winery’s adept skill in winemaking. Similarly, the La Jota Merlot and Chardonnay reflect the diversity and versatility of La Jota’s wine portfolio, each bringing their unique attributes to the forefront.
In summary, La Jota Vineyard is not just a winery but a historical landmark in California’s wine history. Its commitment to sustainable farming, coupled with its strategic location in the Howell Mountain AVA, has resulted in a range of exceptional wines. From the famed La Jota Howell Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon to the elegant La Jota Chardonnay, each bottle is a celebration of the winery’s rich legacy and a testament to the quality that Howell Mountain’s terroir can produce.