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J WINEMAKING



AS A TRADITIONAL-METHOD SPARKLING PRODUCER, J VINEYARDS INCORPORATES MANY OLD-WORLD TECHNIQUES AND TRADITIONS INTO ITS WINEMAKING.


At J Vineyards, all sparkling fruit is hand-harvested at night in cool temperatures to ensure the grapes remain in peak condition. An ultra-gentle pressing in our Coquard presses (rarely found in the U.S., and one of very few in California) prevents astringency or bitterness, and ensures a clean, refreshing mouthfeel. And the same high level of attention and care is poured into each still varietal as well, creating a portfolio that is consistently lauded and always enjoyed.


Nicole Portrait

NICOLE HITCHCOCK,
HEAD WINEMAKER

Born and raised in Carmel, California, Nicole first discovered her passion for wine while working alongside well-respected restaurant sommeliers. What drew her in especially was the worldwide appeal and diversity of wine.


“Wine is like a universal language. It can transcend physical and cultural boundaries, and ultimately brings people together,” Nicole explains. “From early on, I was enamored by all parts of the industry and process — the journey from vine to glass, the varying tastes and the cultural aspects.”


Nicole attended the University of California at Davis, where she earned a degree in Viticulture and Enology and a minor in the Italian language. This combination enabled her to work at an agriturismo in Todi, Umbria for a summer.


After graduation, Nicole worked a harvest in Napa Valley, then transitioned to sales, working with both retail and restaurant customers. Nicole returned to the hands-on side of wine in 2004 when she traveled to Western Australia for a harvest internship.


Back in the U.S., Nicole took a role as a winemaker, crafting wines grown throughout Northern California. In 2015, Nicole also earned an MBA from the Wine Business Institute at Sonoma State University, gaining an academic perspective on the business of the wine industry as well as how it will evolve in the future.


Today, Nicole is the head winemaker at J Vineyards & Winery, where she oversees all aspects of winemaking. Nicole’s passion for winemaking continues to grow as she crafts world-class sparkling and varietal wines from cool-climate fruit grown in the renowned Russian River Valley and Sonoma County.



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