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La Jota Vineyards Co began in 1898, when San Francisco Newspaperman Frederick Hess built the stone winery from the local volcanic rock known as Tufa. The winery became one of several located on Howell Mountain before the turn of the century. Hess named the winery after Rancho la Jota the Spanish land grant on which it is situated.
In the late nineteenth century, wines from the Howell Mountain area were already achieving international accolades. The prestigious Paris Exposition of 1900 awarded medals to La Jota and to the neighboring Liparita Vineyards. Several wineries were operating on Howell Mountain and as many as 700 acres were flourishing vineyards.
The devastation of Phylloxera and then Prohibition put an end to winemaking for many years. Bill and Joan Smith purchased the dormant winery and it's surrounding 41 acres in 1974. The apple orchards that had replaced the vineyards during prohibition were once again planted with Bordeaux varieties. Bill and Joan began winemaking as a hobby. After a few vintages gathering experience, the Smiths recognized wine making was becoming a little bit more than just a hobby. In 1982 they revived the La Jota name and became a licensed producer.
Bill Smith, along with consultants Randy Dunn and Helen Turley developed La Jota's traditional winemaking style. The wines are hand crafted in small batches. By controlling the vineyards and thinning them to keep the yields low, the resulting wines display the concentrated fruit that one associates with Howell Mountain appellation.
In early 2001, ready to move on with a new project, the Smiths sold the winery to Markham Vineyards. Winemaker Michael Beaulac will oversee the winemaking process and is very excited about the future wines from the 28 estate owned acres. T'anne Butcher, the Smiths daughter who grew up at the winery continues to run the office and direct sales operations.
Howell Mountain Appellation
Situated high in the hills above the Napa Valley, Howell Mountain was the first recognized viticultural district in the Napa Valley. It is unique due to the fact that rivers, creeks and property lines usually define most viticultural land areas. In contrast, Howell Mountain Appellation boundaries are defined by the 1, 400-foot elevation contour line. On those days when the fog drifts up the Napa Valley from the San Pablo Bay the Howell Mountain Appellation is usually above the fog line. Of it's 14,000 acres only around 600 acres are actual vineyards and most of those are planted with Bordeaux varietals.
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La Jota Vineyard Howell Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon 2015
On the palate, the 2015 La Jota Cabernet Sauvignon has dark chocolate, espresso, toast, and a hint of Petit Verdot finishing with a great mid palate weight and earthy tannic structure, there is no doubt you are drinking a Howell Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon. more
in mixed case $110.39
La Jota Vineyard Howell Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon 2016
On the palate, the 2016 La Jota Cabernet Sauvignon has blackberry, rosemary, subtle Asian spice, and a hint of Petit Verdot that rounds out the flavors. With a great mid palate weight and earthy tannic structure, there is no doubt you are drinking a Howell Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon. more
in mixed case $127.39
All sizes are 750mL unless otherwise noted.
Vintages and ratings subject to change at any time.
All pricing and availability subject to change.