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Breaking the mold comes naturally to our Head Winemaker Nicole Hitchcock. During Shifting the Lens, our limited culinary series, she brings her years of expertise and industry trailblazing to the table for a truly unique pairing experience.

“I love the concept of ‘shifting the lens’ because for me, as a female winemaker, I haven’t always fit in with the traditional idea of what a winemaker should be, and I’ve come to terms with that over the course of my career, so I love that we’re celebrating this not only in the wine aspect but in the culinary world as well.”

While this series is meant to broaden the conversation around diversity and perspective in the food and wine industry through surprising and thoughtful pairings, Nicole found herself being surprised by how the creation of Shifting the Lens unfolded.

“During my time at J, I’ve worked with many chefs who’ve had innovative approaches to food, but each of these three chefs have gone farther by opening my eyes to different flavors and techniques than I could’ve imagined. Having three guest chefs instead of one, each bringing cuisines we’ve never had at J to the Bubble Room, takes this series to a whole new level.”



*Priority booking to these exclusive experiences is just one of the many benefits Club J Members receive. Explore our memberships and learn more about of all they have to offer!



Not only has Nicole worked closely with each chef to develop the perfect pairing for each of their 5+ courses, but she’s also unveiling a special, one-time-only sparkling wine that will be featured exclusively during Shifting the Lens.

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“Traditionally, when it comes to crafting wines that pair perfectly with a given menu, chefs have no input on the winemaking—which is one of the many reasons Shifting the Lens is so special. I not only was able to work closely with each chef to develop their pairings, but we also went through months of dosage trials and analysis to create the Shifted Lens Limited Release Sparkling Brut Rosé. Each chef leaned towards rosé, and we ended up with a dry, versatile wine different from anything we’ve ever created before.”

Crafting With Honors

For the first time in its 14-year history, Winemaker Challenge International Wine Competition has selected a Winemaker of the Year—and Nicole Hitchcock has taken the top prize. The Winemaker Challenge is one of the only competitions that’s 100% judged by winemakers, with the top “slugging percentage” decided in a blind tasting—making this a truly distinct honor.

“There aren’t many winemakers that are able to successfully run the gamut from small production, vineyard-designated offerings to national market wines that deliver both quality and value.”

– Rich Cook, Competition Director


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