Our Story

Four decades ago, the California Central Coast had yet to emerge as one of North America’s world-class winegrowing regions. With little history or viticultural precedent, planting on the Central Coast was a gamble. One of an early handful of pioneers, Jerry Lohr was among the first to realize the vast, untapped potential of this now-acclaimed region with the establishment of J. Lohr Vineyards & Wines.

In the late 1960s, Jerry began an extensive investigation of California grape growing regions while searching for the ideal location for a vineyard. Raised on a South Dakota farm, his agricultural roots armed him with an innate sense for the intricacies of climate, soil quality and location. His research and instincts led him to the Central Coast, a unique location with one of the longest growing seasons in all of California. Selecting the Arroyo Seco appellation of Monterey County for his first vineyard, Jerry planted his original 280 acres of winegrapes in 1972 and 1973, and unveiled his San Jose winery in 1974.

Borrowing a lesson from the French—that great Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon excel in very different growing conditions—Jerry began planting Cabernet Sauvignon and other red varieties in San Luis Obispo County’s little-known Paso Robles region in 1986. With the hands-on devotion of an artisan farmer, Jerry tended to the vines while diligently working toward the creation and development of an adjacent winery and barreling facility, which was completed in 1988.

Today, J. Lohr Vineyards & Wines includes more than 1,300 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, over 2,300 acres in Paso Robles dedicated to Cabernet, Merlot, Syrah, Petite Sirah and other red varieties, and 33 acres in Napa Valley, highlighting Cabernet and Sauvignon Blanc. From this rich and diverse palette of sustainably farmed estate fruit, J. Lohr crafts wines showcasing bold, concentrated flavors and a vibrant sense of place. The winery offers four tiers of award-winning wines – J. Lohr Estates, J. Lohr Vineyard Series, J. Lohr Cuvée Series and J. Lohr Gesture, limited-release wines available solely to tasting room visitors, wine club members and online.

J. Lohr benefits from the longevity of its talented management team and the passion of a second generation of the Lohr family—key factors that make J. Lohr one of the few family-owned, estate-focused wineries of its size, and one of the last substantial independents. Though it is operated with the loving care of a boutique winery, J. Lohr welcomes guests at two wine centers, one in San Jose and another in Paso Robles.

Our MissionJ. Lohr Vineyards & Wines is dedicated to producing flavorful wines that are the finest examples of quality and flavor from our given appellations.  We are committed to honesty, excellence and service, with a respect for our employees, suppliers, customers, and the long-term health of our company and the environment.

Jerry Lohr Since 1972, Jerry Lohr has pioneered premium winegrowing on California’s Central Coast. In doing so, he has made J. Lohr one of America’s most renowned wineries, and helped to establish Monterey County and Paso Robles as two of the world’s great winegrowing regions. In addition to being a tireless advocate for the Central Coast, Jerry works on behalf of the entire industry. He served as the chair of Wine Institute, and was a co-founder Wine Vision and the National Grape and Wine Initiative. As J. Lohr’s founder, Jerry remains actively involved and manages the company’s extensive estate vineyard holdings in Paso Robles, Monterey County’s Arroyo Seco and Santa Lucia Highlands appellations, and St. Helena in the Napa Valley.

Our People J. Lohr is also guided by the acumen and commitment of a second generation of the Lohr family. CEO and Chairman Steve Lohr is responsible for the overall management and strategic planning of J. Lohr Vineyards & Wines. Cynthia Lohr spearheads corporate and product visibility efforts as vice president of marketing, and Lawrence Lohr advocates for wine appreciation as director of wine education. Together, Steve, Cynthia and Lawrence have joined Jerry to ensure family involvement in the winery (and the involvement of J. Lohr’s extended employee family) for generations to come.

Working alongside the Lohr family is on of the most experienced and dedicated teams in the wine industry. This talented team of individuals, many of whom have been with J. Lohr for decades, includes President, COO and Director of Winemaking Jeff Meier, who has been with J. Lohr for more than 30 years, creating wines that are the artistic expression of the family’s vision. Rounding out Jeff’s skilled winemaking team are Red Winemaker Steve Peck and White Winemaker Karl Antink. Together, this trio’s collective technical knowledge of winemaking practices and viticulture and fermentation science define a breadth of know-how and passion that is unrivaled in the industry.

Complementing their efforts is VP of Production David Mezynski, who has been with J. Lohr since 1978;  Paso Robles Vineyard Manager Steve Carter (1989);  Senior VP of Sales Ken Lee (1986); and Arroyo Seco Vineyard Manager Agapito Vasquez (1989). This longevity in leadership and expertise ensures the continuity of flavors, wine quality and long-standing industry relationships, which have become hallmarks of J. Lohr Vineyards & Wines.