An Old Pro

J. Lohr Vineyards & Wines
San Jose and Paso Robles, California

The name of one of the first and most influential winegrowing pioneers on California's Central Coast is Jerry Lohr, founder of J. Lohr Vineyards & Wines. J. Lohr's estate vineyards are found in three of California's most esteemed winegrowing regions: Monterey County, Paso Robles, and the Napa Valley. From this palette of world-class grapes, J. Lohr has created an acclaimed portfolio of wines recognized for their vibrant fruit and rich character. To share his passion for vineyard-driven wines with exceptional flavors, Jerry has established inviting wine centers in both San Jose and Paso Robles--two opportune destinations for lovers of great California wine.

Founded in 1975, the J. Lohr San Jose Wine Center is the only major winery within San Jose's city limits. Beautifully remodeled in 2003, the wine center's tasting room is both intimate and elegant, combining a granite tasting bar and limestone floors with exposed wood crossbeams and airy structural elements. A destination for visitors and locals alike, the tasting room has become a nexus for wine enthusiasts in the greater Bay Area.

Beyond the tasting room, the wine center is home to a private event space (and full catering kitchen) that has become a sought-after destination for special gatherings, including corporate meetings, exclusive wine tastings, and private wine-paired dinners. The wine center also hosts fun and informative wine education symposiums, festive holiday events, and a sumptuous series of J. Lohr Vintner's Dinners. For J. Lohr Wine Club members, the center offers a year-round calendar of club-exclusive events, including New Release Nights.

In Paso Robles, the J. Lohr Paso Robles Wine Center houses a second winery facility dedicated to the production of red wines, as well as another inviting event center. Conveniently located halfway between San Francisco and Los Angeles, this appealing facility is an important part of the thriving Paso Robles winemaking community, hosting numerous exciting events. In keeping with J. Lohr's commitment to the environment, it is also home to a state-of-the-art, three-acre solar array that helps to power the winery.

At the heart of the J. Lohr experience are the winery's rich and flavorful wines. Reflecting the diversity of its estate vineyards, J. Lohr offers three tiers of award-winning wines: J. Lohr Cuvée Series, wines inspired by the classic Bordeaux blends but crafted to embody the power and complexity of great Paso Robles winegrowing; J. Lohr Vineyard Series, limited-production wines highlighting the terroir of prized single vineyards; and J. Lohr Estates, appealing, high-quality wines crafted using estate fruit. In addition to its signature brands, J. Lohr also produces vibrant Central Coast wines under the Cypress Vineyards label. Says Winemaker Jeff Meier, "At J. Lohr, we focus on flavor from vineyard to bottle."

J. Lohr Vineyards & Wines offers two exciting wine clubs: the J. Lohr Wine Club and the Vineyards Select Wine Club. There is no cost to join either club, and membership includes invitations to special events and substantial discounts on wines.

What To Buy:
  J. Lohr Fog's Reach Pinot Noir Strawberry, cherry and rhubarb jam, toasted oak, vanilla, fresh herbs $35
J. Lohr Arroyo Vista Chardonnay
Apple, pear, pineapple, white nectarine, toasted hazelnut, buttery vanilla $25
J. Lohr Tower Road Petite Sirah Blackberry pie, black currant, bouquet of dark chocolate, hazelnut, cedar $35
J. Lohr Late Harvest White Riesling Dried apricots, peaches, pears, candied oranges $25

Contact:
jlohr.com
San Jose
408.918.2160; Fax: 408.993.2276
1000 Lenzen Ave
San Jose, CA 95126
Wine Center Open Daily 10-5

Paso Robles
805.239.8900; Fax: 805.239.0365
6169 Airport Rd
Paso Robles, CA 93446
Wine Center Open Daily 10-5

Getting There:
Directions can be found on the website or by calling the wine centers.

This story originally appeared on Touring and Tasting