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The Pioneering

Vineyards

of J. Lohr

Monterey County and the Arroyo Seco Appellation

After Jerry Lohr’s nearly decade-long search for the right place to plant his first vineyard, he chose a site in Monterey County that was to become the heart of the Arroyo Seco appellation. Jerry planted the winery’s first 280 acres in 1972 in Greenfield.

Monterey County’s Arroyo Seco appellation has proved ideal for growing layered, complex Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. Brisk winds and fog off Monterey Bay, stony, well-drained soils, and a lack of damaging fall rains all combine to produce grapes with trademark fruit intensity and balancing acidity.

These original Arroyo Seco vineyards have supplied fruit for thirty years for our iconic J. Lohr Estates Riverstone Chardonnay. The cooling afternoon winds off Monterey Bay contribute to two other lush and nuanced Chardonnays in our portfolio: J. Lohr Arroyo Vista Chardonnay, which marries mineral and citrus fruit flavors with Burgundian winemaking techniques, and J. Lohr October Night Chardonnay, which has an aromatic, floral expression thanks to its reliance on Dijon clone 809. After years of vineyard trial and experimentation, our two Pinot Noirs grown in the Arroyo Seco – the J. Lohr Estates Falcon’s Perch and the J. Lohr Fog’s Reach – have proven major successes with reviewers and consumers alike. Rounding out our Burgundian varietals roster is our J. Lohr Highlands Bench Pinot Noir from the nearby Santa Lucia Highlands AVA.

Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc, and Valdiguié also flourish, benefiting from the dramatic coastal climate and our long experience here.

Even with such a long, successful track record in Monterey County, nothing ever stands still at J. Lohr. The Lohr family and vineyard teams are constantly reassessing and reworking our sustainably farmed vineyards. The J. Lohr Chardonnay program alone makes use of nine different clones. New plantings and new farming regimens are constantly being researched and incorporated. On the winemaking side, the second phase of J. Lohr’s state-of-the-art white wine production facility in Greenfield is complete. The new winery’s 67,000 square foot cellar was  finished in 2016, with a storage capacity of 46,000 barrels. White wine maker Kristen Barnhisel fermented 75% of our white wine crush there this past harvest.

It has been 45 years since Jerry Lohr first began planting Chardonnay in Monterey’s Arroyo Seco. Our pioneering attitude is the same today as it was back then. Our single-minded goal is to let the quality and terroir of this world-class, cool climate winegrowing region shine through in every bottle of J. Lohr.

Monterey/Arroyo Seco
Monterey/Arroyo Seco

Monterey / Arroyo Seco Details


  • J. Lohr Vineyards Acreage
    • 710

      Chardonnay acres

    • 45

      Pinot Noir acres

    • 40

      White Riesling acres

    • 39

      Valdiguié acres

    834 Total acres

  • J Lohr Monterey Map
  • Soils

    Primarily well-draining, light water holding sandy loams and alluvials with river stones.

  • Monterey and Arroyo Seco Labeled
    • J. Lohr Arroyo Vista

      Chardonnay

    • J. Lohr October Night

      Chardonnay

    • J. Lohr Estates Riverstone

      Chardonnay

    • J. Lohr Estates Bay Mist

      White Riesling

    • J. Lohr Late Harvest

      White Riesling

    • J. Lohr Estates Falcon's Perch

      Pinot Noir

    • J. Lohr Fog's Reach

      Pinot Noir

    • J. Lohr Highlands Bench

      Pinot Noir

    • J. Lohr Estates Wildflower

      Valdiguié

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  • Climate

    The Arroyo Seco AVA has a true “Region I” climate, thanks to the fog and cold winds off nearby Monterey Bay. The marine influence lengthens the growing season, creating near perfect conditions for Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and other cool climate varietals. The region’s semi-arid lack of rainfall typically means no damaging weather events during harvest.

Paso Robles

Jerry Lohr has championed Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Syrah from the Paso Robles appellation since the early 1980s. He recognized that the Paso Robles region’s diurnal temperature swings of 45 to 50 degrees from early morning to midday during the growing season would create optimal flavor development in these classic red varietals. Jerry and his team, over many years, have helped write the book on Paso Robles’ winegrowing with sustainable farming practices, clonal research, and innovative viticultural techniques. 

Known for its extreme growing conditions and well-drained, gravelly and sometimes chalky limestone soils, Paso Robles is one of three California appellations producing Bordeaux and Rhône varietals worthy of international acclaim. Akin to the climates of Alexander Valley in Northern California’s Sonoma County and the Rutherford district of Napa Valley, Paso Robles is known for fifty-degree temperature swings between dawn and afternoon. When combined with the area’s scant moisture, the resulting Cabernet fruit is intense and concentrated with forward fruit aromas and flavors – similar to its northern counterparts, but with riper and softer tannins.

J. Lohr owns more than 2300 acres of vineyards in the Paso Robles region. Home Ranch, Hilltop, Shotwell, Creston, Pleasant Valley, and Sinclair are a few of the J. Lohr vineyards here that are helping craft Paso Robles’ reputation for superb Bordeaux and Rhone varietals.  

At the Home Ranch, the J. Lohr Paso Robles winery is the main facility for most of our red wine production. Here winemakers Steve Peck, Brenden Wood and team daily set the bar for Paso Robles style and quality. 

Paso Robles
Paso Robles

Paso Robles Details

  • J. Lohr Vineyards Acreage
    • 2,048

      Cabernet Sauvignon acres

    • 167

      Merlot acres

    • 102

      Petit Verdot acres

    • 83

      Petite Sirah acres

    • 31

      Cabernet Franc acres

    • 31

      Malbec acres

    • 18

      Syrah acres

    • 9

      Grenache Noir acres

    • 9

      Viognier acres

    • 8

      Roussanne acres

    • 3

      Mourvèdre acres

    • 2

      Grenache Blanc acres

    2,507 Total acres

  • J Lohr Paso Robles Map
  • Climate

    The Paso Robles region boasts very warm days and cool evenings during the growing season. The daily fifty-degree temperature swings provide dramatic conditions for Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and other red varietals. The semi-arid climate typically means no damaging fall rains, so harvest can be based solely on optimal phenolic ripeness.

    Moderate Region II to Region III (UCD). Largest swing between daytime highs (85°F to 105°F) and nighttime lows (45°F to 55°F) in California. This diurnal fluctuation is key to the region’s trademark, intense varietal character.

  • Paso Robles Labeled
    • J. Lohr Estates Seven Oaks

      Cabernet Sauvignon

    • J. Lohr Hilltop

      Cabernet Sauvigonon

    • J. Lohr Estates Los Osos

      Merlot

    • J. Lohr Estates South Ridge

      Syrah

    • J. Lohr Tower Road

      Petite Sirah

    • J. Lohr Cuvée Series

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  • Soils

    Variable, including quaternary alluvial soils across younger to older terraces, calcareous soils, loams, sandy loams, and bedrock residual soils. Well-draining, low water holding capacity.

Napa Valley

In the St. Helena appellation of Napa Valley lies a 35-acre parcel of land called Carol’s Vineyard, named after Jerry Lohr’s late wife, to whom he was married for 48 years.  Here, ideal temperatures and clay loam soils provide superb conditions for growing both Cabernet Sauvignon and Sauvignon Blanc. The climate also mimics that of Bordeaux. As a result, Carol’s Vineyard has yielded fruit of exceptional quality, character and depth of flavor for over two and a half decades. Grapes used in our J. Lohr Carol's Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc are hand-harvested in the cool of morning, crushed, gently pressed, and fermented primarily in stainless steel barrels to retain the varietal's bright, crisp gooseberry and grapefruit flavors. To complement this wine’s classic style, a small portion of the fruit is fermented in new French oak barrels for added depth and complexity. The fruit for our J. Lohr Carol's Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon  is also hand-harvested to preserve the intense flavors and colors. Blended with Petit Verdot and aged in French oak barrels for 18 to 20 months, this Cabernet is defined by deep black cherry and currant flavors and aromas, with a hint of licorice.

Napa Valley
Napa Valley

Napa Valley Details

  • J. Lohr Vineyards Acreage
    • 26.3

      Cabernet Sauvignon acres

    • 4.5

      Petit Verdot acres

    30.8 Total acres

  • Soils

    Classic clay / loam soils provide Bordeaux-like mediums for growing Cabernet Sauvignon.

  • Climate

    A climate that mimics that of Bordeaux, with maritime influences from San Francisco Bay, warm days and cool nights during the growing season.

  • Napa Valley Labeled
    • J. Lohr Carol's Vineyard

      Sauvignon Blanc

    • J. Lohr Carol's Vineyard

      Cabernet Sauvignon

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