NAPA (CBS SF) – JaM is short for John and Michele and their story is a true wine country love story. John was raised in the vineyards as his parents Tony and JoAnn were developing Truchard Vineyards. “My great grandfather, a winemaker moved to America from France in the late 1800’s and started a winery in Texas. My father started Truchard Winery in Carneros in 1974. And Michele and I launched JaM Cellars here in Napa in 2008.” said John.
Earlier in 2003 Michele and John launched John Anthony Vineyards and then later JaM Cellars along with Rob. Earlier in 2003 John started his first label, John Anthony Vineyards, exclusive, small-lot estate wines from his favorite AVAs in Napa. These wines include several single vineyard designate wines from the Oak Knoll District, Coombsville and Carneros in the Napa Valley and have received multiple 90+ points ratings from Richard Parker. Today, under John Anthony Family of Wines, John pursues his passion for making exceptional quality wines across a range of price points, with a vision to make the absolute best value wines possible.
The JaM brand was created in 2008 with the idea of giving wine lovers of all ages something that is easy to appreciate and afford. The first release was in 2009 with the 2008 JaM Cabernet, which was joined in 2010 by the aptly named Chardonnay, Butter. Butter, a California Chardonnay, was created with the same idea in mind as JaM, giving white wine lovers a rich fruit, buttery, reasonably priced wine. Today JaM wines are crafted by winemaker Jeff Kandarian. Jeff joined the company after being a winemaker with Beringer’s luxury brands and leading the winemaking efforts at King Estate in Oregon for 5 years.
I met John and Michele recently at JaM Cellars in NAPA to talk wine and music. The tasting room opened just under a year ago and it is as much a music venue as it is a tasting room with each complementing the other. It’s a place you want to hang out and enjoy wine and while there you do feel like a rock star. And this rock star wine country couple even have their own tour bus – the “ButterBus”.
The bus complete with wine cellar, of course, a mini kitchen and a bedroom suite was once owned by Alan Jackson. The JaM team travel all over the country sharing their story and wine.
JaM Cellars returns as main stage sponsor for BottleRock Napa Valley, May 26 27 28. I will be there every day as emcee of the Williams-Sonoma Culinary Stage. Stop by and say hello or see you in the JaMPad at BottleRock, where there is always a party with Butter, JaM and Toast – the three top selling JaM Cellars wines.
Enjoy the conversation with John and Michele and see you at BottleRock Napa Valley 2017 for food, fun, music and wine!
Mmm…blackberries, black plums, black currant, cassis and more—this easy-to-love Cabernet is all about the fruit. Harvested at perfect ripeness and made in the tradition of great Californian winemaking, JaM Cab bursts with lush berries on the nose and palate. Aging in our unique blend of new oak smoothes the wine and adds a lingering touch of vanilla to the finish.
Gold Medal, TEXSOM International Wine Awards, March 2017
Alcohol %: 15.1
For more on JaM Cellars, visit:
1460 First Street
Napa, CA 94559