A STORY AS BIG AS THE WEST
Jeff(erson) Wilkes was a winegrower and wine grape salesman at Bien Nacido and Solomon Hills Vineyards in the Santa Maria Valley as well as French Camp Vineyard in the Paso Robles Highlands for twenty years (1981-2001).
Jeff’s tireless promotion and demand for quality anchored the Bien Nacido Vineyard, Solomon Hills and the Santa Maria Valley as the heart and soul of Santa Barbara County winegrowing, providing grapes to some of the greatest winemakers in California.
After a long and rewarding career as a salesman, grape grower and ambassador for Santa Maria and Paso Robles wine, Jeff Wilkes decided to try his hand at winemaking. He went to his long time employer and friend, Steve Miller, with a proposal to create wines that focused on California’s Central Coast, through the lens of two of its sub-AVA’s (American Viticultural Areas) – Santa Maria and Paso Robles Highlands.
Jeff launched his ‘J.Wilkes’ label in 2001, focusing on Santa Maria Valley Pinot Noir, Pinot Blanc and Chardonnay, and made his last wine in 2010 before his untimely passing late in that same year.
Soon after, the label was relaunched as a tribute to Jeff’s unwavering love of the Santa Maria Valley, his commitment to value and quality, and later as a vehicle for blending AVA wines that show the best of the Central Coast and our diversity of meso-climates…
THE LABEL WAS RELAUNCHED AS A TRIBUTE TO JEFF’S UNWAVERING LOVE OF THE SANTA MARIA VALLEY
Jeff’s love of the Old West and sailing the Pacific Ocean continue to guide our winemaking team. The freedom that the West and the Pacific represent are in every sip of J.Wilkes, as is the pursuit of discovery that drives humans to search for new experiences and better lives.
A bottle of J.Wilkes is an investment to keep your friends and family at the table for an extra hour. We believe the combination of food, love and wine is one of the most important rituals left in this country and is the cure for spending too much time with technology..