John Jordan has always encouraged employees and overnight guests to explore Jordan Estate’s 1,200 acres by foot. “My backyard is your backyard,” he likes to say.
Now, more wine and nature lovers can experience the rolling hills, pastures and breathtaking vistas of our Sonoma County winery estate with new hiking trails through the Jordan Vineyard Hike adventure.
Hosted in spring, summer and fall, the first hike was held last weekend for 18 guests. The weather couldn’t have been better: temperatures in the upper 70s and sunny with a constant breeze to keep us cool.
Our journey began with house-made yogurt and granola at Vista Point, the highest hilltop of Jordan’s peaceful 1,200-acre ranch, boasting a sweeping panorama of vineyards, valleys and mountains called the "best view in Alexander Valley" by Fodor's. After a chat with Ranch Manager Brent Young about the property and our precision farming approach, the group set out into a hilltop Malbec vineyard with Guest Services Manager Sean Brosnihan, Assistant Guest Services Manager Maribel Soto and myself as guides. We covered just more than three miles of hills and valleys—advanced hikers might call it a beginner hike while other less active walkers may call it moderate—passing through meadows filled with different wildflowers and vineyards bursting with new leaves and shoots in anticipation of the fast-approaching flowering season of the grapevines. A steep hike up to the top of one of our olive orchards was followed by a rest stop at Seven Oaks by Jordan Lake for a Jordan Estate Olive Oil tasting and water break. We took a flat path past our lower lake to the chef's prolific garden, also home to our chicken coop, new apiary and cattle pasture. The garden and animals are situated just below the winery, making it a convenient last stop on the trail. We rewarded ourselves with a picnic of local cheeses, charcuterie, terrines, house-cured olives, breads and citrus agua fresca, as well as a wine tasting of 2014 Jordan Chardonnay, 2014 Jordan Cabernet Sauvignon, all served under an ancient blue oak tree on the Winery Chateau terrace.
The Summer Vineyard Hike is scheduled for June 21 ($75 at jordanwinery.com until sold out), and tickets for the Fall Vineyard Hike, hosted on November 5, go on sale in July. Events are limited to 12-18 guests to ensure the best experience.
“Come for the wine, stay for the hospitality” has been the motto for many guests who visit Jordan Estate. Now, fans of Jordan may very well come for the hiking and stay for the wine and food.