Retired pediatrician Jim Jenkins has been making wine for many years, and doing so commercially since 2003. He and his wife Jeanne have ten acres of vines and apple trees just two miles north of Julian. Their estate grapes include Pinot Grigio and Pinot Noir; Jim sources additional grapes from Ramona and other SoCal vineyards.
We were happy to find the Jenkins’ original tasting room re-opened after a hiatus. And we liked the Dolcezza apple wine! With only 0.5% residual sugar, it'll be a pleasant summer sipper. The 2009 Estate Pinot Noir has mineral notes and more weight than we generally encounter; it would be perfect with salmon. But the 2004 Syrah with its smoky and grassy nose won the day. What an amazing find for $25 – and the grapes came from Pyramid Vineyard, just down the road in Ramona.
The Jenkins estate includes kid- and dog-friendly picnic spots. In early fall look for a farm stand too, with tomatoes, pears… and of course apples and cider.
The J. Jenkins tasting room is open Thursday – Sunday 11:00-5:00. 760.765.3267