Pioneer and legend of California wines
Fifty years ago, Jerry Lohr embarked on a career change. What followed would reshape the landscape of the California wine industry and create one of the country’s most popular wine brands.
In the late 1960s, Jerry began an extensive investigation of California grape growing regions – searching for the ideal location for his first vineyard.
Jerry was raised on a South Dakota farm; his agricultural roots armed him with an innate sense for the relationship between climate, soil, and location. His research and instincts led him to the Central Coast, specifically Monterey and Paso Robles – two regions located about 75 miles apart.
With little history or viticultural precedent, planting on the Central Coast was a gamble. Four decades later, the California Central Coast emerged as one of North America’s world-class winegrowing regions.
One of a handful of early pioneers, Jerry was among the first to realize the inherent potential of Monterey and Paso Robles for producing high quality grapes and superb wines.
In the early 1970s, he chose Monterey County’s Arroyo Seco district for its cool, windy climate and rocky soils as ideal for Chardonnay.
In the 1980s, he recognized the potential of Paso Robles for growing Bordeaux varietals, especially Cabernet Sauvignon – given the area’s rich soils and dramatic diurnal temperature swings between warm days and cool nights.
J. Lohr Vineyards & Wines now includes more than 1,400 acres of cool-climate estate vineyards in the Arroyo Seco and Santa Lucia Highlands regions of Monterey County, with an emphasis on Chardonnay, Riesling, Valdiguié and Pinot Noir. J. Lohr farms over 2,700 acres of vineyards in Paso Robles, now recognized as one of the world’s best spots for Cabernet Sauvignon and other Bordeaux and Rhone varietals. Nearly all the red wines in the J. Lohr portfolio come from here, affirming the foresight of Jerry’s original vision.
The winery also owns over 30 acres in Napa Valley, planted with Cabernet Sauvignon and Petit Verdot.
From this rich and diverse palette of sustainably farmed estate fruit, J. Lohr crafts wines showcasing bold, concentrated flavours and a vibrant sense of place. The winery offers six tiers of award-winning wines: J. Lohr Estates, J. Lohr Vineyard Series, J. Lohr Cuvée Series, J. Lohr Gesture (available solely to wine club members), J. Lohr Signature Cabernet Sauvignon, and J. Lohr Pure Paso Proprietary Red Wine.
Founded five decades ago and still family-owned and operated today, J. Lohr Vineyards & Wines has established itself as one of the industry’s most respected wine brands.
Even after almost fifty years of winegrowing and celebrating eighty years on the planet, Jerry Lohr is not slowing down. He continues to explore, learn, and lead in all aspects of the industry.