Honoring the Legacy of Jeff Wilkes
An accomplished sailor, grape grower, and vintner with a passion for wine and a deep love of the ocean, Jeff Wilkes knew whole-heartedly the winemaking potential of California’s Central Coast. After selling wine grapes for the Miller Family for nearly 20 years, Jeff started crafting his own wine under his namesake J. Wilkes label, with 2001 marking his inaugural vintage.
After several years of seeing his wines regularly land on the menus of famed Michelin-starred restaurants, Jeff tragically passed away in 2010. Wanting to honor the legacy of their friend, the Miller Family subsequently purchased the J. Wilkes brand, thus enabling Jeff’s vision to live on. Today, J. Wilkes’ range of exquisite, sub-AVA crafted wines continues to showcase the diversity and allure of California’s acclaimed Central Coast.
J. Wilkes sources its grapes from 4 revered regions known for their unique terroirs, all shaped by a reliable oceanic system – Santa Maria Valley, Paso Robles Highlands, Santa Rita Hills and Ballard Canyon. The vineyards of these regions bask in the California sun while a reliable Pacific breeze keeps their grapes cool, giving them longer growing seasons and the perfect environment for a range of varietals to thrive.
With a tasting room located just one block from the beach, J. Wilkes’ connection to the ocean is unmistakable. Our portfolio of 90+ point small-lot wines offers endless opportunities to explore the unique and exquisite flavors of the Central Coast’s sub-AVAs, from our popular Cabernet Sauvignon and elegant Pinot Noir to our distinctive Pinot Blanc and refreshing Chardonnay.
To experience J. Wilkes wine is to discover the powerful influence the Pacific has on the coastal vineyards of California’s renowned AVAs. Our wine is not simply inspired by the ocean, it is defined by it.
We hope you enjoy every bottle just as much as we’ve enjoyed crafting it.