La Jota Vineyard has been producing Cabernet on California’s Howell Mountain’s slopes for over one hundred years. There is something magical about Howell Mountain, with its remote vines interspersing the misty forest pines. The soils here are shallow and rocky, and the vines have to struggle to survive, resulting in tiny berries and clusters with very high flavor concentration.
It was here that Swiss immigrant Frederick Hess first purchased land and began planting vines in 1898.
The wines he produced were immediately acclaimed, as the quality of the terroir shone through; but Prohibition halted production, and the estate fell into ruin. Thankfully, in 1974 the “ghost” winery was re-planted and in 2005 the estate was acquired by California wine pioneers Jess Jackson and his wife Barbara.
La Jota Vineyard today comprises just 28 acres, across three estate vineyards, each with its own distinct personality.