At J, we believe wine, like food, is multidimensional. It is far more than just something to be consumed – it tells our most human stories and forms part of our culture, identity, and community. It takes us on a journey and opens our eyes to a world beyond our glass. This year, we will highlight what makes J unique "Through the Lens of" the special people who create the magic needed to bring you unforgettable wines, culinary pairings, experiences, and memories.
We look forward to sharing their perspectives with you, broadening our scope and taking us all to a place of discovery & connection.
As a Sonoma County native, Chef Forest is well-versed in the unique diversity of Sonoma County's agriculture and wine regions. He spent much of his childhood living and working on his family's sustainable farm in Cazadero, where he was introduced to the concept of farm to table at an early age. This began a lifelong passion for culinary exploration and artistry. Having worked in restaurant kitchens since he was 15, Chef Forest went on to complete the Culinary Arts program at Santa Rosa Junior College. Since then, he has worked in acclaimed restaurants across the country, most recently in Healdsburg, California. Throughout his career, Chef Forest has earned a reputation for creating elegant dishes that are equally delicious and beautifully unpretentious.
"Of all the incredible wines in the J portfolio, the first one that stood out and inspired me is our Annapolis Ridge Vineyard Pinot Noir," says Estate Chef Forest. "Having grown up on the Sonoma Coast, the wine captures the terroir of the AVA perfectly. Ripe black and blue fruit, crisp acidity and well-balanced tannins create a sensational experience. The possibilities for food pairing are exciting and endless. The wine creates a bridge to where I grew up – waking to cold foggy mornings, spending hot and dusty summer afternoons picking wild blackberries, and watching stunning sunsets in the crisp evenings. It truly is one of the most beautiful places I have ever seen, and I'm delighted to share that beauty with guests through our wine and cuisine."
At J Vineyards & Winery, Chef Forest is focused on creating the spectacular five-course tasting menus for The Bubble Room and artisan cheese pairing plates at The Legacy Lounge, working in collaboration with Winemaker, Nicole Hitchcock to ensure each nuance is highlighted to maximize the guest experience.