Jason Goelz never intended to be a winemaker until he reached retirement age. He planned to use his degree from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo in Business Administration to develop a marketing career in the tech industry. Although he went on to work in technology after graduation, a college course in wine and viticulture that turned into wine/viticulture minor kept haunting him, so long before retirement age, he decided to jump into the wine making business.
Over the years, Goelz had developed a friendship with Stephen Dorcich a grape grower in Santa Clara Valley, California. Dorcich had a reputation for growing quality grapes which he sold to other area wineries. Goelz proposed to lease Dorcich’s vineyard and produce wines using Dorcich’s grapes. In 2008 Goelz broke ground on a winery building naming it Jason-Stephens Winery. For a small producer, the winery facility is remarkable and state-of-the-art. Jason designed the facility so efficiently that wines can be made by just two people.
The winery produces several varieties including Syrah, Carménère, Petit Verdot, Malbec, Merlot, Viognier and Chardonnay.
The 2013 Select Chardonnay (purchased $20.00 14.5% alc.) had a nice medium straw-yellow color in the glass. I detected aromas of marigold and pineapple on the nose with flavors of tropical fruit and a slight hint of minerality at the back of the mouth. The finish was smooth butter, vanilla and honey.
The tasting notes describe the wine as having tropical notes on the nose with aromas of guava, pineapple and banana. The wine was aged in stainless steel tanks and bottled in March 2014. It is composed of 45% Estate Chardonnay, 40% Chardonnay, 5% Viognier, 2% Sauvignon Blanc and 8% Riesling.
This wine would pair well with light foods including shellfish, linguini with shrimp, lemon and herbs, and arugula salad.
Jason Stephens wines are sold through wine distributors in most states. You can also purchase their wines online on their website. Goelz and his wife, Janu operate the winery and have a tasting room at The Stomping Ground, a former industrial facility in Gilroy, CA.
The Stomping Ground
6500 Brem Lane
Gilroy, CA 95020
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