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  • Writer's pictureJTF

Underground French Tradition: Jarvis

Up a winding road off the Silverado Trail, the olive and berries trees frame a stone wall carved in the middle of the mountain. Through the path, the signature arches of Jarvis close into golden doors that swing open to a place back in time where tradition and attention to detail still prevail.

Jarvis wines are a quintessential blend of French tradition made in America. All the offerings from the winery are limited in production or at least appear to be for those of us who find their wines depart wine lists far too soon.

There is serenity inside the caves, perhaps the quiet echo of the stone, or the sound of the running water in its signature waterfall. Time slows down for both the process of winemaking and that spent by visitors within its walls. Through small doors and passages, the entire production line reveals itself. It is apparent there are no spared expenses, making the wine with a pleasure for life that keenly reminds of the Art de Vivre that the French claim as a lifestyle.

William and Leticia Jarvis, both founders and owners of the vineyard, have managed to materialize their life's journey into their wine and winery. Their legacy resides in every stone and practice where no detail spared, and wine becomes an experience, as it meant to be. The family's passions do not end with wine and extend to music and the arts. The main hall inside the winery caves is a grand space where the contrast of crystal chandeliers clash with the stark yet soft angled lines of the carved stone.

The wines from Jarvis are not for those looking instant gratification, nor a straight forward journey in their palate. Best aged and mellowed from the new oak that the winery chooses to change every year for its reds. One must wait with patience for the structure of the wine to reach its pinnacle expression. The winery's white offerings are much more accessible but no less rich in layers and flavors. Whoever said that too much of a good thing is not proper, obviously never tasted Jarvis wine or visited their winery.


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