We rolled into JaM Cellars tasting room just after lunch into downtown Napa. If you aren’t familiar with JaM Cellars, let me introduce you. The brand has a few wines you may have seen in the grocery store – Butter Chardonnay and Toast Brut Sparkling – both with cool, edgy labels designed to appeal to millennials. It’s worked. People keep buying JaM wines, so the company has been extremely successful. The wines are fantastic even though they don’t look like a wine a wine snob would pour – don’t let the fun label fool you. Butter in a can is one of my go-to wines at home.
JaM is short for John Anthony and Michele, who are the vintners. JaM Cellars founder, John Anthony Truchard, has a cool business story. He started a vineyard management business while still in school, which helped fund his own vineyards – with a twist. Rather than buy land to plant his own vineyard, he leased land in prime locations to grow grapes for his wines. Popular wines you’ll find in grocery stores include Butter Chardonnay, Candy Rosé, and Toast Sparkling.
The two tasting rooms are on the Main Street, and both are worth the visit – the John Anthony Tasting Lounge is a cool hipster lounge with artwork by Jeff Bridges. Yes, that Jeff Bridges – the Dude – he’s friends with the JaM Cellars crew and occasionally visits. We didn’t stay in the tasting room (and we didn’t meet Jeff) … we took an Escalade to the Church Vineyard for a tasting experience. In a church. It’s named the Church Vineyard because JaM Cellars transported a historic church to the property for tastings, and that’s where we ended up tasting wine.
Our guide was extremely knowledgeable and answered all of our questions from how the wine is made to the history of Napa Valley. JaM Cellars’ claim to fame in Napa is Bottlerock, a 3-day music festival held in Napa Valley.
After tasting JaM Cellars wines in the vineyard and in the church, we headed back to town in the Escalade. The Toast and Butter in the JaM tasting room looks like a band recording studio, and is a fun spot to visit.
If you’re looking for fantastic, affordable wines to keep in your wine rack at home, you will never be disappointed with a JaM Cellars selection.
Try this at home
JaM Cellars wine is sold in most grocery stores – can or bottle! And wines to keep stocked in the fridge (especially during the summer!) You can also join the JaMClub and get wines shipped monthly.