Matt Dees of Jonata
"...this is one of California’s most exciting new wineries. What they are accomplishing with Bordeaux varietals is mind-boggling….” Robert Parker, the Wine Advocate
From the owners of iconic Screaming Eagle, quite possibly California's next Cult Winery.
Here is the story...
Frédéric Engerer of Bordeaux’s Château Latour visits the property as a consultant, after seeing the sandy soil unlike other Santa Ynez vineyards the first-growth’s CEO tells them better off grow asparagus! Luckily they did not take his advise.
Known as prodigy of wine, Matt Dees was barely 25 years-old when he was hired at Jonata. Dees describes himself dirt geek, with a degree in soil science from the University of Vermont and winemaking experience gained at New Zealand’s Craggy Range and Napa Valley’s Staglin Family Vineyard. Dees is a winemaker who’s emotionally and intellectually connected to structure, texture and tannin and explores these elements deeply in his wines.
In 2007, only a few years after founded in 2004, Jonata wines received substantial critical acclaim from Robert Parker, Jeb Dunnuck, Antonio Galloni and Stephen Tanzer.
Nearly 242 hectares of Jonata, only the 33 hectares planted vine, is owned by the sports mogul Stan Kroenke who also owns the iconic Screaming Eagle. Estate was planted with a host of varieties that are rarely cultivated side-by-side, Bordeaux varieties, Syrah and Sangiovese.
Jonata is committed to sustainability. After several vintages, Dees and Vineyard Manager Solorzano began to suspect that the vines could be healthier if the entire property operated as a greater ecosystem. Jonata integrates and revolves livestock (chickens, turkeys, goats, pigs and sheep) in their farming model, which naturally enhances the soil and health of their land and absolutely no pesticides or herbicides are used on the estate.