Mountain Made Wines Continue in Good Hands

JotaBoy, you’ve got to give it to Jess Jackson.

Most of the media has focused on Francis For Coppola’s purchase of Sonoma’s Chateau Souverain from Fosters. But I think Jackson got the real prize when he picked up La Jota Vineyard Company the other day from Markham Vineyards.

This purchase is good news to wine lovers. Jackson has a history of purchasing or founding small estate wineries that put or have great vineyards at their center. La Jota is one of them and is now likely to continue as one.

The winery was founded by Bill and Joan Smith in the mid 1970s when they planted 28 acres on Howell Mountain in the eastern hills of Napa Valley. These wines have always been terrific; big, bold reproductions of the mountain climate and terrain. The cabs in particular were wines you simply had to wait for to come around. On release they have often been monsters, somewhat closed but dense too. Their tannins nearly always needed time to soften up. They also made a Petite Sirah that was among the best in America.

La Jota will be managed under Jackson’s Artisan & Estates company that has more than one gem in its portfolio. Among the wineries Jackson has acquired or built that fall under A & E is Matanzas Creek Winery, Hartford Court, Atalon, Stonestreet, Verite, Cardinale just to name a few.

Posted In: Wine Business


3 Responses

  1. Fredric Koeppel - November 7, 2005

    The best thing Jess Jackson can to with La Jota is leave it completely alone to do what it has been doing so well for so many years. I bought a bottle of the Cabernet ’92 at a silent auction late last year (a steal, along with a bottle of Marcassin Chardonnay 1998), and it was fabulous, deep, rich, mellow, but with years to go. Why tamper with greatness?

  2. Tom Wark - November 7, 2005

    I suspect he will do just as you say. Certainly the Howell Mountain wines will remain in place. There was some thought that the La Jota wines had diminished in quality after the Smiths sold the winery to Markham. I think if anyone can keep the quality high, Jess Jackson can.

  3. va mountain real estate - March 22, 2010

    That marks the place. Every place has something to represent.

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